The Opposition has called on the State Government to provide compensation to small businesses in regional Western Australia that are suffering from yet another setback due to this week’s lockdown.

Opposition Leader Mia Davies said many operators in the State’s north had not only endured financial losses over the past three days but were still recuperating from previous snap lockdowns this year.

“West Australian small businesses deserve certainty and clarity around suitable compensation plans to help them recover in the aftermath of lockdowns,” Ms Davies said.

“Many businesses outside of Perth and the Peel region are still reeling from the financial shortfalls felt over the ANZAC Day long weekend – particularly those who were not eligible for the $2000 grant.”

Ms Davies said regional small businesses and communities had suffered significant financial impacts this year due to snap lockdowns, travel restrictions, bushfires and a cyclone, and needed an iron-clad promise from this Labor Government that they weren’t left alone in times of crisis.

“Immediate financial assistance from a State Government boasting an almost $5 billion surplus is vital.

“The Premier must take action in his Treasury portfolio – which he chose to undertake – and return some of that surplus into the small businesses and communities that are crying out for help.”

Shadow Small Business Minister and Shadow Treasurer Steve Thomas said it was concerning that financial assistance for small businesses was still not offered or discussed by the Premier on the third day of lockdown.

“There is no doubt these restrictions are affecting small business owners across WA, especially as we are heading into school holidays.

“We have been dealing with this pandemic and lockdowns for around 18 months now – the Premier and his Labor Government need to prioritise providing small businesses with support quickly and efficiently to minimise angst and financial risks within our communities.

“There are still many small business owners waiting to receive the $2000 grant from the Anzac Day long weekend lockdown.

“It is extremely concerning there is no sense of urgency or certainty from the Premier to lessen the burden on small businesses State-wide.”