Re-open contactless business now

The Fyshwick Business Association is calling on the ACT Government to consider allowing businesses that can operate in a contactless way to re-open.

“Many Fyshwick businesses have pivoted almost seamlessly into alternate methods of trading, however the ongoing prohibition on ‘non-essential’ business operations is causing significant damage to some enterprises,” Fyshwick Business Association President Rob Evans said today.

“We understand the need for community health and safety to be the priority and commend the swift action by the government to contain the latest COVID-19 outbreak, as well as applauding the Chief Minister’s emphasis on getting vaccinated as soon as possible.

“However, the inconsistency around the application of what is essential and what is not is cause for unnecessary and inbuilt unfairness which does not contribute to community safety. How is it safer for people to shop in person at, say, a liquor store (which is deemed ‘essential’), than any other ‘non-essential’ business that is willing and able to provide contactless trade for customers, but is unable to do so without breaching the health direction?

“While we are sure this is an unintended consequence, local businesses are losing trade to interstate operators who are permitted to ship to Canberra households, while ACT businesses are not.

“This is really bad for the local economy and ultimately will cost the government more in business assistance than it needs to.”

Mr Evans said that all ACT businesses which could safely offer contactless delivery or pick up of goods should be allowed to resume operations immediately (not waiting for the lockdown to end), regardless of being categorised as essential or not.

“The Chief Minister has spoken often of a gradual re-opening. Allowing Fyshwick businesses to get going again through contactless trade would be a good start as it is a perfect control location being relatively isolated and not in a residential area.

“We support the lockdown measures to date to control the spread of COVID, however we believe that allowing contactless business to re-open is a measured and sensible step which does not compromise community safety and helps get us back on the road to economic recovery,” Mr Evans said.

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