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Melbourne restaurants threaten class action over ‘unrealistic’ dining plan

Some of Melbourne’s most iconic restaurants are banding together, threatening the government with class action over its “unrealistic” plan to overhaul the city’s restaurants and bars.

They say they have been continually “ignored” and stonewalled by Daniel Andrews.

Chin Chin owner Chris Lucas said the industry was on the verge of a “wipe out” and needed to be trusted to do the right thing.

“We have a track record and we need to be trusted,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“They (government) don’t trust business and don’t trust us as experts of our own operations.

“Of course we want to fight the virus, of course we don’t want deaths in the community and of course we want to open safely.

“Time and time again we have pleaded with the government and put proposals to them that clearly demonstrate that Melbourne’s restaurant industry can exert world’s best practice when it comes to opening up safely.”

Mr Lucas said he wasn’t opposed to outdoor dining, but it shouldn’t be seen as the solution.

“It’s not a substitute for an industry which 99 per cent of its business model is built on indoor dining in what is a cool climate city,” he said.

“We are happy to consider outdoor dining, but not at the cost of keeping our restaurants closed based on these unrealistic targets.”

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