The Shadow Minister for Small Business Dr Steve Thomas said confirmation by the State Government that regional businesses will be ineligible for the $2000 grants that will be given to businesses in the Perth Metropolitan and Peel regions is another slap in the face for regional businesses and communities.

“The Government had initially hedged its bets on whether regional businesses would qualify but has finally confirmed that they will miss out again” Dr Thomas said.

“The Labor Party thinks that because only Peel and Perth were locked down the impact outside those areas was insignificant.”

Dr Thomas said the Government failed to understand that the measures had a significant impact in some regional businesses, especially given the mixed messaging the Government gave travellers and visitors.

“We started with visitors welcome as long as they were wearing masks, but the next day the Government was telling people they should be locked down if they had travelled from Perth out to the regions.”
“People were left wondering what they were supposed to do, and this definitely impacted on regional businesses.”

Opposition Leader Mia Davies expressed her disappointment at the State Government’s repeated failures to support regional WA.

“Regional businesses have suffered from the chaos and confusion caused by the Labor Government and last month’s entirely avoidable lockdown.

“The last-minute backtracking of the Health Minister’s advice caused financial and mental anguish for regional small businesses who were relying on visitors during the Anzac Day long weekend.

Ms Davies said the State Government’s assumption regional WA was not impacted clearly showed its city centric agenda and continued inability to provide much-needed assistance to our rural communities.