The Victorian State Premier has today released the Victorian Roadmap for Reopening Victoria, designed to provide a plan for reducing restrictions and allow the gradual return of business activity. The Roadmap does not ease restrictions as the businesses community had hoped, with the State Government advising that the risk of further outbreaks requires at least a two-week extension of the Stage 4 restrictions in Greater Melbourne.
The Roadmap includes a five-step plan for the eventual return to COVID Normal. Retail operations in Metropolitan Melbourne are able to commence, under restrictions, in Step 3 of the plan, scheduled to be introduced on 26 October. Regional Victoria can operate more freely in Step 2 of the plan, which is scheduled for introduction on 13 September. Repairs and maintenance in metropolitan Melbourne are only able to be performed in emergency situations, until the introduction of Step 3. In regional areas, repairs and maintenance can occur with a COVID Safe plan. There are special allowances for listed Permitted Work Premises and this does include an allowance for motor vehicle parts for emergency repairs.
The Government have also developed a Traffic Light System for further guidance and businesses will be classified into one of the following four categories:
Red – Business must be closed
Amber – Business activities heavily restricted
Yellow – Business activity restricted
Green – Businesses can open with a COVID safe plan
The AADA is disappointed that the Victorian Premier has not provided more relief from restrictions, especially for those Dealers in Melbourne. We have been working with the VACC in consultations with the Victorian Government to demonstrate that franchised new car Dealers can operate safely and responsibly under COVID-Safe plans with very little risk. Dealers run sophisticated, disciplined businesses well versed in adherence to regulatory procedures. In our view, Dealers should qualify under the green classification at the end of Stage 4.
We will continue to work with other industry associations and strive to convince the government task force that Dealers can operate safely.
The Premier has indicated that consultation with industry will continue over coming weeks and the AADA will be participating in these discussions.