More calls for clarity
PROMINENT tourism figure Matt Wright has backed calls from industry leaders for the NT government to produce a plan for businesses when a lockdown occurs.
He said the impact of lockdowns, both in the NT and interstate, hit the tourism industry hard and a road map would provide some confidence to the industry.
However, Mr Wright, who owns multiple tourism businesses in the NT, was mindful of the difficulty of producing a road map in uncertain times. s.
“You can’t keep locking ng people up, that’s going to backfire,” he said.
“We juggle things around d (when there’s a lockdown) to o cater for the market but it’s s not easy and there’s a lot of manpower and work that goes es into making it work, that’s for sure.”
He said inevitably there would come a point when things changed and a clear plan for the future would be beneficial. “It’s good that we do get the support from the government but there’s going to be a point where it stops,” he said. “Government employees and employers and pollies, none of them get knocked around during a lockdown.
“It’s a bit hard-line when they don’t get impacted, they get their same pay, but a poor cafe or business – they have staff to pay and no incomes.” Master Builders NT chief executive David Malone
has led a chorus calling for more certainty and communication if or when the Territory is thrown into
future lockdowns. As vaccination rates across Australia and the NT continue to rise, Mr Malone called for a refocus away from lockdowns. He believes better communication of key details between government and industry could alleviate issues.
“Information should land on someone’s phone as soon as possible rather than through an organised media press conference,” he said.
“It’s what we do for cyclones and fires so there’s no reason we can’t have that information for lockdowns.
“There’s 16 different industry sectors and we should have a plan for each one with immediate guidance on who can remain open or closed.”
Mr Gunner on Friday backed the previous actions taken around snap lockdowns, pointing to the NT’s “resilient economy”.