Treasurer urged to 'go halves' in Victoria

·2-min read

Industry leaders are urging the federal government to "go halves" in support of Victorian workers and businesses affected by the state's lockdown.

Tim Piper from the Australian Industry Group said it was fair enough for the Victorian government to foot the bill for the first week of restrictions.

"But now that we are getting to a stage where we're going into a second lockdown, people will be hurting that bit more," he told ABC radio on Thursday.

"Recognition of that by the federal government is certainly something we've been pleased to hear."

Victoria has pledged an extra $209 million for Melbourne businesses to survive an extra seven days of stay at home restrictions.

The state funding injection adds to an additional outlay of $250 million.

The Commonwealth government is still working through its options.

"Our support will be targeted, it will be temporary, it will be measured and it will use existing systems," Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.

"But we do recognise the pain Victorians are right now experiencing."

Mr Piper is concerned businesses owners are bleeding money and many employees have been stood down.

He does not believe state support payments will be enough to survive and wants the Commonwealth to split the bill.

"Businesses are going to be starting to cry out for it over the next week," Mr Piper said.

Emma King from the Victorian Council of Social Service also said the federal government must step up.

"People are again missing shifts, losing their jobs and struggling to pay their bills," she said.

Australian Retailers Association chief executive Paul Zahra agreed,

"Victoria can't do this alone. The federal government has done a great job to keep businesses afloat through JobKeeper and we need them to step up to the plate again," Mr Zahra said.

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