MEMBER ALERT -
Update on the Accommodation Association's activities in Victoria
15 September 2020
Dear Victorian Members,
Please find below our latest update on the constantly changing environment in Victoria and the Accommodation Association’s activities.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Association has been in regular contact with the government. Over the past fortnight we have been active in participating in the Victorian reopening Industry Roundtable discussions and meeting with the Minister’s office. This engagement will continue in order to ensure the Industry’s specific needs are heard.

1. Advocacy for a more flexible Roadmap to Recovery.
Following the release of the Roadmap to Recovery by the Government, the Victorian State Advisory Board worked with VTIC and other stakeholders, to develop a more flexible Roadmap to reopen and operate safely while expediting the ability of hotels to operate profitably. In particular we have expressed industry concerns at the continuation of the restrictions on purpose of travel.
 
The Association is currently speaking to health professionals to obtain additional views on opening in a COVID safe environment to present to government. 

2.      Working with other stakeholders to provide a united voice.
  • The Association is currently working with a range of industry associations to write to government with a collective message on the need for expediting steps to recovery. The industry letter will be shared shortly.

  • The Association is working with the City of Melbourne to create a Melbourne Digital Time Capsule City Village, as part of the city’s recovery strategy. To find out more and get involved contact michelle.king@aaoa.com.au

3.      Media and Resources to support our Members
The Association has been active in the media both responding to the roadmap (Victorian roadmap is a highway to hell for Australia’s accommodation sector, 6th September 2020) and welcoming the Government initiatives and emphasising our needs to government.

The Association website has a range of Fact Sheets and tools that assist in the development of COVIDSafe Recovery Plans. Restricted purpose of travel outline in the member alert attached and our website. We have also created a step by step guide, for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, to assist properties to ensure compliance with the Health Directions.

Overview of Victorian Government announcement:
The Government has created a website with further details. In relation to industry, the Premier released two roadmaps - one for metropolitan Melbourne and one for regional Victoria, detailing a return-to-work by industry.

Over the weekend we welcomed the announcement by the Victorian Government of the $3 billion in cash grants, tax relief and cashflow support to be delivered to Victorian businesses. Please click here for our media release and click here for further details on the $3 billion fund allocation.

In summary;
  • An extension of $822 million as part of the third round of the Business Support Fund, including grants of between $10,000 and $20,000 for eligible businesses (depending on the size of payroll)
  • $1.8 billion in tax and cashflow support including $1.7 billion to defer payroll tax for businesses with payrolls up to $10 million for the full.
  • Grants of up to $20,000 available to businesses in alpine resorts, to help make up for restrictions that have prevented visitors to the ski fields.

Plus another $287.5million in support to industry. Highlights -
  • $100 million for sole trader relief
  • $3K grants available to sole traders operating in a closed or heavily restricted environment
  • Sole traders must be operating from a commercial premise to be eligible
  • Estimate 33K sole traders across the state will have access to these grants
 
  • $87.5 million for outdoor hospitality support package (Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package) supporting councils outside of City of Melbourne.
  • $58 million will be allocated to $5,000 grants to hospitality businesses to cover equipment purchase or hire as well as training and advertising costs. 
  • These grants are for both licensed and unlicensed venues with payroll under $3 million.
  • $29.5 million is being made available to councils to support them in quickly implementing and streamlining their processes to shift operations outdoors.
  • $500K grants are available to Metro Councils.
  • $250K grants are available for regional councils.
 
  • $100 million in partnership with City of Melbourne (50/50) for a Melbourne City Recovery Fund. This includes:
  • $30 million worth of cash grants available to small to medium-sized businesses to help support their transitioning requirements to be more COVIDSafe and comply with health directions.
  • $30 million to support the creation of COVIDSafe events and cultural activities to bring visitors back to the city.
  • $40 million will be allocated to infrastructure and streetscape improvements in the city to make the city more safe, accessible and sustainable.

The Accommodation Association congratulates the Andrews Government on these important relief measures. We now look forward to working with government on devising a Reopening Roadmap that can ensure our sector reactivates safely and as quickly as possible.

We will continue to keep members updated on our advocacy and on government announcements.