Community & Business

11 March, 2022

Local survey shows drop in trade from mandates

A SURVEY of businesses on the Tablelands has shown that 78 per cent of those who responded experienced a drop in trade due to the Queensland Government’s Covid mandate.

By Robyn Holmes

The survey was initiated by Glen Allyn resident Matt Lachlan who was front and centre of the debate when the State brought in its mandate on 17 December that banned unvaccinated people from accessing a range of businesses, mostly in the hospitality sector. 

The survey yielded responses from 18 businesses, with 14 of them attributed a drop in trade to the mandates which did not allow their customers to enter their business. 

One respondent said that due to mandates “our business has basically died”, while another reported up to a 40 per cent drop in total trade, and another reporting 60-95 per cent drops in certain sections of their business. 

While Mr Lachlan acknowledges that the survey is not comprehensive, he believes it still represents the experiences many businesses in the hospitality and entertainment sector have had since the mandates were introduced. 

He is calling on the government to revoke the mandate and to consider the impact upon businesses before any future such policies are introduced. 

“It would be in the interests of business, for unnecessary mandates to be revoked without delay,” Mr Lachlan said. 

“Clear and well-articulated policy formation, in conjunction with proper consultation, ought to be key driving principles in future government decision-making processes. 

“Whilst talk of the potential removal of mandates is promising, it is essential that assurances are provided that similar policies will not be re-enacted days, weeks or months down the track. 

“Businesses need stability and security in policy formation and struggling businesses would be unable to cope with a new wave of mandates. If this was to occur this would undoubtedly lead to the closure of further businesses and additional job losses.” 

The survey revealed 50 per cent of respondents reported a loss of staff, some claiming up to half of their staff had been unable to work due to the mandates and remaining staff had been under added pressure due to additional workloads. 

Increased costs were also a factor, with 78 per cent of respondents confirming they had felt a financial impact from costs associated with complying with the mandates and also from the provision of items such as hand sanitiser, masks, disinfectants, wipes, RAT tests and signage. 

Another impact that came to the fore was the uncertainty about when, or if, the mandates will end and the inconsistency of their application. 

“Whilst some government intervention is necessary, it is highly dubious that mandates targeting certain businesses whilst excluding others are justifiable, nor indeed serve any valid purpose whatsoever – for example, café and restaurant dining was prohibited (for unvaccinated people) but dining in a food court was allowed,” Mr Lachlan said. 

“Of the 55 per cent of businesses who reported concerns about the drop in trade, two respondents said they had already closed their business, with an additional four outlining they would potentially close if the mandates continued. 

“While I know the survey was only completed by 17 businesses and one not-forprofit and is by no means a comprehensive view, what it clearly demonstrates is that these policy mandates are hurting businesses within our region,” Mr Lachlan added.


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