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COVID-19 cabinet minister says businesses were not ignored during road map planning

A senior COVID-19 cabinet minister has denied suggestions industry has been ignored in the planning for Victoria’s COVID-19 road map.

COVID-19 Minister for Industry Support and Recovery, Martin Pakula, says “all sort of scenarios and models” were considered.

He says he spoke regularly to industry and business leaders during the road map consultation process.

“I’ve certainly been listening,” he told Neil Mitchell.

It comes despite suggestion from CEO of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Paul Guerra, that industry had come up with solutions which were ignored.

Mr Guerra told 3AW Breakfast industry leaders “negotiated in good faith last week and put a bunch of COVID safe plans in place that would’ve seen all of industry open up”.

Mr Pakula said he understands businesses are frustrated, but they were listened to.

“Paul Guerra and I would speak probably every day,” Mr Pakula said.

“I understand that if they’ve put a point of view very strongly and it hasn’t been the way it has gone, they’ll be disappointed and they might think that means people haven’t been listening.

“It doesn’t mean that, it means the health advice is contrary to their interests, and I understand why they’d be upset about that.

“The fact is the health advice says if you open up as quickly as industry wants to open up, we’ll be right back where we started.”

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