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Tuesday, 1 September 2020
Page: 6150


Ms THWAITES (Jagajaga) (13:30): [by video link] I'm highlighting the position of small businesses in my electorate shut out of JobKeeper because of unfair anomalies put in place by this government. I've been contacted by a number of people with small businesses who are being excluded from JobKeeper because of technicalities.

Erin and Caitlin run a local hairdressing business in Greensborough. They opened their business at the beginning of the year and lodged their Business Activity Statement at the end of the first quarter. They discovered they're ineligible for JobKeeper because their BAS wasn't lodged prior to 12 March, but if they'd lodged monthly, instead of quarterly, they would've been eligible.

Maddie and her family, also in Greensborough, had poured all their savings into launching their new cafe in September last year. Prior to the pandemic, they were trading really well, but of course they've been struggling more during the restrictions. Yet, because their BAS was not lodged before 12 March, they're not eligible for JobKeeper.

These businesses have rents to pay and overheads they still need to meet. It seems cruel and unfair that the Treasurer is leaving them out of support due to technicalities. Of course, we know the Treasurer could fix this, and in fact I've written to him about these cases. Unfortunately, I haven't had a response. He couldn't take the time to support these small businesses through this crisis but he's showing this week what he can take the time for: blame-shifting to the Victorian government. Well, it's not good enough. Step up. Do your job.