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Industry group takes aim at state government over ‘lack of empathy’ for small businesses

Australia’s peak industry association has accused the state government of showing a “lack of empathy” towards small businesses, and called for urgent relaxation of Victoria’s strict rules, which are keeping many businesses closed.

Speaking at Sunday’s COVID-19 press conference, Premier Daniel Andrews hinted the rule relaxation announced next weekend will be focused on social gatherings, not businesses reopening.

Victorian head of the Australian Industry Group, Tim Piper, said businesses desperately need some good news.

“The government’s not giving us any idea as to whether we’re going to be opening up,” he said.

“We just need to have some reason for optimism at the moment and the government is giving us none of that.

“There seems to be a lack of empathy and a lack of understanding about the impact this is having on small businesses.”

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