Ms RYALL (Ringwood) — The grand final eve extra public holiday is a Labor folly, a commitment no‑one asked for and which no‑one was consulted about, not even the AFL. The Premier talks the talk but he has never walked the walk. He talks jobs but has never had to create one off the back of his own efforts and risk. He has no idea what it takes to create jobs, to build a business and to employ and care for staff and shoulder the responsibility of their financial wellbeing day in, day out.
The economic growth and development of Victoria depends on these people — the ones who risk their very livelihood and their incomes and who risk dependence on others to have a go; the ones whose margins are slim, who rise early, who work late and who have sleepless nights, knowing that the financial wellbeing of others is dependent on them. They work tirelessly to get the orders to come, to do their best to ensure that their products and services will be purchased and that the future will be bright. They are the new forgotten people — or is it the discarded people?
Not just burdened with the usual compliance load in an underperforming state economy, these people now have a choice to make, one that Labor MPs have not had to make. They must ask, ‘Can I afford the extra cost to stay open — I am having to pay more than I bring in — or do I shut the doors, pay the cost of a normal day’s operation and not deliver any outcomes?’. It is not a case of saying, ‘Blow the customers. They can wait’; there are deadlines and contracts to deliver. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
The people in the Ringwood electorate, so many of whom are small business owners, including tradies, are saying they just cannot absorb these additional costs.