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Calls for Melbourne restrictions to be eased

Calls for Melbourne restrictions to be eased

A number of restrictions in Melbourne and regional Victoria have eased as part of a staged plan out of lockdown.

There are calls for Melbourne’s 5km lockdown rule to be doubled to 10km to help struggling businesses in the CBD.

Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood believes the 5km rule is hurting inner city businesses and should be doubled.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy & they must be front of mind as we take steps to reopen our city,” Cr Wood tweeted.

“I’m calling for the 5km radius rule for Melbourne to be extended to 10km to help struggling city businesses & Queen Vic Market traders.”

Cr Wood, who is running for Lord Mayor at next’s month’s council election, believes that extending the 5km limit would provide more customers for city businesses, as they would be in reach of suburbs like Footscray, Port Melbourne and Prahran.

It would also help Queen Victoria Market traders, which are struggling as almost two-thirds of their regular customers live outside the 5km radius.

“With school holidays coming up, it would also offer up more options for families who live between five and 10km from the CBD; they could go for a COVID-safe walk through some of our renowned gardens, and then pick up lunch or dinner before heading home,” Cr Wood told the Herald Sun.

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Cr Wood would also like to see people return to work in shifts or weekly rotations. He believes this would support traders and the mental health of workers.

It comes as the chiefs of some of Australia’s biggest companies, including CSL, BHP and Wesfarmers, urge the Victorian government to lift Melbourne’s 9pm curfew.

The chief executive of biotech company CSL, Paul Perreault, said he didn’t see the rationale for the curfew and it wasn’t happening anywhere else in the world.

Mr Perreault said the Victorian Premier should “rethink and ­relook at this road map”.

“From what I have seen of it and read of it, it seems to be inconsistent and using data that doesn’t make a lot of logical sense,” he told The Australian.

“These thresholds are just not workable for any society. I’m not a scientist by training, I am a pragmatist and when I look at the other road maps around the world … this one is very difficult to swallow. We are calling for balance. We know there will be more debt, more ­national debt and generations to come will be paying for this.”

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Mr Perreault’s comments were backed by BHP chairman Ken MacKenzie, who…

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