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HRBA president “pissed off” by lockdown

THE state’s snap lockdown has shattered the confidence of Hamilton’s businesses, according to Hamilton Regional Business Association president, Darcy Walker.

Mr Walker said he was “pissed off” that Hamilton businesses had been forced to close for five days in response to a COVID-19 outbreak that was contained to Melbourne.

“Businesses feel like they’ve had the rug pulled out from them when this lockdown has come out of the blue,” he said.

“We all understand the need for restrictions and to be safe, but it’s hard when you’re being forced into lockdown and have to close when the closest exposure site is 300 kilometres away.

“It’s been a tough year and we’re all just looking for a bit of certainty, but to have a lockdown like this with no notice is a huge hit to the confidence.”

Mr Walker said the timing of the lockdown was particularly hard on hospitality businesses, who were expecting a big weekend.

“You just have to look down the main street and see that everyone’s closed,” he said.

“With Valentine’s Day on Sunday, hospitality businesses were expecting a big weekend with their bookings.

“They’ve had to cancel all those bookings and then there’s the wastage of stock they’ve had to through out because they couldn’t use it all for takeaway.

“Retail businesses also have to cope with losing five days of trading … and there’s the fact that schools are closed, which means some traders that may have been able to open can’t because they have their kids at home.”

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