The Premier yesterday announced an immediate ban of swimming, fishing, boating and other recreational activities on the River Murray in order to protect infrastructure and for the safety of river users and property owners.
Tony Pasin, Federal Member for Barker is calling for a significant ramp up of support for businesses in river communities, particularly those who rely on tourist trade.
“While I accept that temporary restrictions on river based activities are necessary during this difficult period, there is no doubt that these restrictions will have a dampening effect on people’s willingness to visit river communities” Mr Pasin said.
“In light of this difficult decision, I am calling on the South Australian and Federal Governments to provide additional support to those businesses who will now struggle during what is their traditionally busy period” he said.
While early closure grants of between $10,000 and $20,000 are available for businesses forced to temporarily close or cease normal trading, there is no support available for businesses who remain open, but who will now see a significant reduction in trade due to this ban.
“The temporary restriction on recreational activities is likely to remain in place for a significant period of time, and as such the State and Federal Governments must make support payments available to businesses along the river corridor akin to those that were paid via JobKeeper during the pandemic. JobKeeper was available to businesses whose turnover was reduced by 30% and was paid on a per employee basis” Mr Pasin said.
“In light of this development the current supports available to businesses are insufficient. We need to support businesses and their employees along the length of the river corridor to survive this downturn caused by the decision to ban activities in, on and around the river so that they are ready to flourish again when visitors return.” Mr Pasin said.
Media Contact: Charlotte Edmunds 8724 7730