An Important Message from Stuart Charity, CEO AAAA
The new COVID-19 restrictions across Victoria, which include Stage 4 lockdown in Metropolitan Melbourne, have created confusion and uncertainty. During what may be a stressful time for members, I want to reassure you that we have been working hard to clarify how the new restrictions affect members and yesterday we provided information on how the government’s rules apply to each part of our industry.
I know that there is confusion but put simply and clearly it is our interpretation that:
Automotive repair and maintenance is permitted to operate where providing support to a permitted service or industry or where required to maintain the health and safety of Victorians at home or at work. Further, the automotive aftermarket supply chain (replacement parts and parts used for repair and maintenance) that enables the provision of this service to ‘permitted services’ and to ‘maintain the health and safety of Victorians’ is also permitted to operate – with clearly stated conditions relating to use of face masks, sanitation, hygiene stations, minimum staff levels, a COVID Safe Plan, contactless services and social distancing.
With the Stage 4 restrictions coming into effect at 11.59 pm last Wednesday, here is additional information on what you need to do to prepare, including:
- See the various COVID-19 Member Resources on our website, especially regarding permits which relate to those automotive sectors that can remain in operation.
- Critically review every job role in your business – are there any other personnel that can possibly work from home? If they can, they should do so.
- We have suggested to all of our members that are remaining in operation to close the front door, close any reception areas and post a sign that the business is only continuing in areas that are permitted under Stage 4 Restrictions.
Enforcement of the Stage 4 restrictions is likely to be comprehensive and I cannot stress enough that a ‘business as usual’ attitude is not going to work – it’s going to be a tough six weeks. We have advised some members that some or all areas of their business must close for this six-week period and this has been heartbreaking to us and devastating for those business owners.
The AAAA team and I have spoken directly to many of you over the past 24 hours and I know from these discussions that AAAA members are all looking to respect the spirit of the new restrictions by ensuring we are all playing our part and doing the right thing to stop the spread of this highly transmissible disease. I have been deeply heartened by the number of members that are calling to make sure that they are doing the right thing.
Over the next few weeks, there will be mixed experiences for our Victorian businesses and business owners. While many of our member businesses can continue to operate, the community-wide impact of the Stage 4 restrictions is designed to dramatically reduce activity and movement which will impact demand for services.
We want all members to emerge from this pandemic in good physical and mental health, so do not hesitate to ask for help from experts who are well trained to support you or someone you care about. Now is the time to show high levels of care and compassion for others, and to look after yourself. Below you will also find a list of mental health resources that you can contact for more support.
Remember, the AAAA team is here to support you. If you need any more information or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also happy to take your calls.