Hospitality businesses in the ACT need urgent support


Shadow Minister for Business Leanne Castley will today move a motion in the ACT Legislative Assembly calling on the Labor-Greens Government to provide financial support to Canberra’s struggling hospitality businesses hit hard by lockdowns, particularly in NSW.

Canberra’s unemployment rate soared from 3.6 per cent to almost 5 per cent last month, with the ACT now having the weakest jobs market in the nation.

Ms Castley said the ACT Government must provide a support package, including emergency cash grants for struggling businesses in the hospitality sector.

“I have spoken to many restaurants, bars and cafes in Canberra, and they are crying out for help,” Ms Castley said.

“Businesses need assistance with operating costs such as power bills, rent and rates immediately but so far this Labor-Greens Government has given little support.

“This government has shown that they are not on the side of small business, after they rejected calls for a Small Business Advisory Council and botched the ChooseCBR scheme.

“If the Labor-Greens Government continues to leave small businesses in the dark, we will see many more of them close and there will be even more devastating job losses.”

The motion also calls for the Hospitality Support Package to include other measures such as extending waivers for food registration and outdoor dining fees and extending the scheme for pubs, bars and restaurants to sell takeaway alcohol.

“The Labor-Greens Government must urgently throw a lifeline to Canberra’s hospitality businesses, or risk losing the vibrancy of our night-time economy,” said Ms Castley.

“The most recent CommSec report reveals unemployment has climbed to 4.9 per cent in June which means almost 6000 Canberrans have lost their jobs – that’s not good enough,” Ms Castley concluded.