NYT article reinforcing the approach we are calling for

keep the lights on

We are particularly concerned about the protection of community assets. Charities and social enterprises are significant containers and channels of social capital and the sector is entering a death spiral. We have started thinking today, not only about how to ensure there is redeployment and repurposing within hospitality, but how to just keep the lights on. More on this to come …

yes and …

The Federal Government’s commitment to double the job seeker payments is very welcome. We recognise that under trying circumstances they have acted substantially and quickly. The main implication of this announcement for the Jobs and Food Rescue Plan is that it alleviates the need for the smart card.

We welcome the support for people who will become unemployed during this crisis. However, we believe that keeping people in work by repurposing kitchens and redeploying staff to meet the emerging needs during the pandemic is the preferred path. Essentially, using existing infrastructure to meet community needs.

Urgent attention therefore needs to be given to designing responses that utilise the existing hospitality infrastructure for these unprecedented times. In particular, the meal preparation and delivery systems will need to expand to cope with the rapidly growing need to supply food to people in quarantine and isolation. Cafe’s, restaurants, catering and events businesses and venues are closing as I write and as you read. There is no time to waste.

On March 22nd, the State Government announced support for food relief packages to be coordinated by the Red Cross in partnership with Foodbank Victoria. Alongside this welcome initiative, we will seek to work through our network to advocate for the use of the State Government Funds (Business Support Fund – $500M and Working for Victoria Fund – $500M) to be allocated to save existing hospitality jobs by supporting redeployment and repurposing initiatives.

Federal Government safety net package

Today the Federal Government announced substantial measures in response to the crisis. Among these was a doubling of the unemployment benefit (for the next 6 months). We welcome this announcement for its capacity to alleviate food insecurity for people who will lose their jobs in the next weeks and months. However, hospitality businesses remain under extreme threat with the prohibition of non-essential activity.

We will be liaising with our network in the coming days to determine how the momentum generated via this campaign can be harnessed to help incentivise activity that contributes to positive system changes in these times.

Thanks for your support.

article in Geelong Advertiser

For subscribers, you can read the article here. Otherwise see the hard copy piece below.

Government Announcement

Economic Survival Package to Support Business and Jobs

The Victorian Government makes an announcement that includes a $500M Business Support Fund and a $500M Working for Victoria Fund. The Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry, The Australian Hotels Association and Ai Group, the Victorian Council of Social Services and Victorian Trades Hall Council are named as bodies with whom the Government will consult in deploying the Funds.

We call for these funds to support this proposal with it’s multiple benefits.

reaching out

We spent the day spreading the word. The primary effort was spent getting a simple one pager into the inbox of MPs and other people who could help us advocate for the Government’s inevitable spending to be directed towards the kinds of measures we have outlined in the jobs and food rescue package.

You can read the paper here

We have an Idea

Today we are going public with a proposal that we believe can help rescue jobs and provide meals to those who need them.