Bunnings Begs To Stay Open In Victoria During Lockdown Because It's 'Essential'
Parts of Victoria have been plunged into Stage 4 lockdown as the state continues to grapple with a second wave of coronavirus infections. That means most businesses will have to close or force staff to work from home for another six weeks until the pandemic weakens.
Anything deemed non-essential will have to cease operations - and one company clamouring to be on the essential list is Bunnings.
When lockdown first hit, many people flocked to the DIY chain to tick off some much needed projects around the home.
The company is hoping to remain just as essential in Victoria the second time round.
Bunnings managing director Mike Schneider is begging the Victorian government to deem it essential and allow stores to stay open - albeit with increased social distancing measures.
He told The Australian: "We always believed we play an essential role.
"If there is a freak storm and roofs are damaged, it is tarpaulins and ropes and water proofing equipment; if your hot water system goes, if your smoke alarm goes or light bulbs go - these are all things you need for urgent repairs.
"And we play an important role in taking pressure off the supermarkets because we actually supply a range of products that overlap in those cleaning products so we spread the load between supermarkets and others."
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Essential businesses like supermarkets, petrol stations and pharmacies will be allowed to remain open in Stage 4 lockdown.
However, people in the hot zones won't be able to pick and choose where they go. Under the new restrictions, they will only be able to leave their home and travel a maximum of five kilometres in any direction. That means all the shopping will have to be done locally.
People have also been placed on a curfew and aren't permitted to leave their home between 8pm and 5am every night. Residents will be allowed out once a day for exercise, however that will only be for one hour.
It's hoped these measures will stop the state reporting triple-figure new coronavirus infections every day, however there are fears it could wipe billions of dollars from the local economy.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the restrictions were necessary to prevent more people being infected.
"We can no longer have people simply out and about for no good reason whatsoever," he said yesterday.
"It is not an easy decision to make but it is necessary and that's why I've made it and that's why police will be out in force and you will be stopped and you will be asked and need to demonstrate that you are lawfully out and you are not breaching that curfew."
Featured Image Credit: Wesfarmers