Riverland businesses lose trade over Government’s confusing messaging

Confusing Malinauskas Labor Government messaging regarding a ban on water activities has caused Riverland businesses to lose income in another blow to the local tourism industry.

In a move designed to protect the community, Peter Malinauskas banned swimming, fishing, boating and recreational activities on the River Murray – but unclear and ambiguous messaging about exemptions for boating that is “reasonably required” has caused chaos.

One local tourism operator told media his business was killed overnight after the bans were introduced.

He says he lost multiple bookings as soon as the rule changes were announced – but the real insult to injury came when the Malinauskas Labor Government finally clarified that his business was NOT REQURIED to shut.

Unfortunately, all bookings had been cancelled.

Shadow Minister for Water Resources and the River Murray, Nicola Centofanti, called on the Malinauskas Labor Government to expand its financial support for businesses.

“Confusing and chaotic messaging from the Malinauskas Labor Government regarding the shutdown of river activities has literally shut down a business operator overnight and who knows how many others will suffer because of this,” Dr Centofanti said.

“The Opposition supports any move to improve safety along the river but when we are facing a natural disaster event, clear and concise messaging is the key to keeping the community safe and calm.

“In this situation, a local Riverland tourism operator has been left to count the cost of the Malinauskas Labor Government’s poor communication.

“We must see a JobKeeper package or similar that can support businesses that stay open but whose turnover has been reduced by 30 per cent.”

Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said bans on the River Murray are likely to be in place for weeks, if not months, and the Riverland and Murraylands communities can’t afford to wait for help.

“I support any move which helps better protect river communities but mixed messaging has caused confusion and that’s why we’re calling for additional support to be given to businesses impacted by the new River Murray bans,” Mr Whetstone.

“There is support for businesses that close, but those who chose to remain open have literally lost customers overnight because of Peter Malinauskas’ poorly delivered announcement.”

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