Victoria Covid update: record cases as treasurer explode over PM’s lack of support for the construction sector | Victoria

Victorian businesses affected by the two -week closure of the construction industry will be given nearly $ 200m in financial support, as the sector prepares to reopen.

Victoria recorded 1,488 new cases of coronavirus in the 24 hours to Saturday morning, and two men aged 60 from Hume and Mornington Peninsula died.

Victorian treasurer Tim Pallas, has announced $ 196.6m cash grants for 70,000 businesses in Melbourne, Geelong and Mitchell affected by the construction closure from September 21 to October 4.

Eligible single business owners will receive a one fee of $ 2,000, which will increase to $ 2,800 for businesses with an annual payroll of up to $ 650,000, $ 5,600 for a payroll between $ 650,000 and $ 3m, and $ 8,400 for $ 3m to $ 10m.

The industry has been closed for two weeks due to concerns over the rising number of coronavirus cases, transmission and poor compliance at building sites, but it will reopen on Tuesday to workers who have been vaccinated with at least one dose.

Pallas was critical of the federal government while making the announcement, saying “these grants would be doubled if the commonwealth office refused to contribute to Victoria’s construction industry”.

“It is beyond reason or understanding why this industry, which will be forced of course as a result of the challenges they have had to face over the past few weeks, is not getting the support they would expect,” he said.

He said NSW had received more than double the amount of Victoria’s federal disaster payments, citing data released this week showing that NSW received $ 6.15bn compared to $ 2.40bn for Victoria .

“At every step throughout this pandemic, NSW has received a free kick from the prime minister for Sydney,” Pallas said.

There are 429 people currently in Victorian hospitals with Covid-19, an increase of 34 on Friday, with 97 people in the ICU and 54 in need of a ventilator.

More than 70,000 Victorian people were tested for the virus in the 24 hours to Saturday, and 36,878 vaccinations were given.

There are 71 new cases reported in the Victoria region, while Shepparton and Moorabool are starting their first day under a week -long lockdown to contain growing cases in those areas.

Shepparton’s active cases grew 10 to 34 on Saturday, while Moorabool recorded another two cases bringing the total to 32.

All Victoria -authorized workers must have their first dose of vaccine before October 15 and the second on November 26 to maintain employment on site, as part of a new statewide mandate.

The requirement covers retailers, personal trainers, MPs, journalists, faith leaders, judges, police, lawyers, artists and professional sportspeople.

The government plans to consult with several industries such as energy, waste management and faith leaders but chief prince Daniel Andrews, flagged on Friday there would be few exceptions.

The October 15 deadline will not replace Victoria’s separate vaccination mandate hours for elderly care, healthcare, freight, construction and education workers.

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