The National Retail Association (NRA) lashes the inconsistent advice and directions from the Queensland Government, after consumers were told not to shop online.
NRA Chief Executive Officer, Dominique Lamb additionally slams the advice available to employers on the Queensland Health website, which was different to the official Health Directive.
“On Monday and Tuesday, shoppers were being urged to use online-shopping to reduce the number of shoppers in stores,” says Ms Lamb.
“Today, the official advice is to avoid online shopping to reduce the number of delivery workers in the community.”
Ms Lamb also says that while the Government was urging businesses to close, its failure to update the Health Directive meant that business owners were not able to stand down staff or negotiate with landlords for rent relief.
“The Queensland Government is taking no responsibility for the damage they are inflicting on small business,” continues Ms Lamb.
“By doing the proper paperwork, they would give business owners the opportunity lawfully [to] reduce their expenses, which would make it easier for them to close their doors.
“But instead, the Government gives vague, weak and contradictory advice, which leaves business owners guessing about their rights and responsibilities.
“And now we hear police are interrogating customers and business owners in shopping centres, demanding to know why they are there.
“If people are not allowed in shopping centres, then order them closed and pay appropriate compensation to the business owners who must still pay rent and staff costs.”
Ms Lamb emphasises that, “retail employers have done everything in their power to support the fight against Covid – masks, sanitisation, social distancing, re-arranging shops to allow for correct entry and exits, and enforcing QR code check-ins.
“They have absolutely had enough. It’s time the Government provided some clear, consistent advice on what they expect.
“And perhaps they could give just a moment’s consideration to the damage their constant backflipping and contradictions are doing to the morale and viability of Queensland businesses.”