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聯邦政府要協助維州人走出困境  

 周偉文

維州州長安德魯斯在9月6日向仍處於第四階段隔離的墨爾本人提交了「四步路線」的脫困路線圖。大部份墨爾本人都感到失望及沮喪,因為至少在十月26日前,實際上墨爾本仍要宵禁而居民還要困在家中不能與別人接觸。
長期的隔離,不單令人的心情沉重,更令一些人的心理健康出現問題。維州政府提供更多資源,協助有需要者尋找幫助,不過由於在隔離狀態,要提供足夠的輔導也並不容易。而且心理學家及輔導員,要通過視頻來提供輔導,效果自是大打折扣。
由於人被困在家,家庭暴力個案明顯增加,政府也呼籲受家暴者,可以不受宵禁的限制,出外尋求幫助。而且為保護受家暴者,政府也實施把施暴者移離住所的政策。
孩子們由於不能回學校上課,困在家中,說實話網絡教學,勞累的往往是家長。要在家中工作的,不少人在孩子不斷騷擾下工作,不勝其煩。平時要團隊工作的,要花上更多時間和精力去與同事溝通,而彼此誤會的情況亦常碰到。管理者要協調各人工作進度也顯得複雜和困難,不少政府的部門,只能提供基本服務。
最令維州民眾憂心的是在禁足的同時,除了緊急及必要的服務外,零售及不少小企業都停頓了。面對著沒有收入,就算聯邦政府支持了員工的薪水,老闆們都要為籌措租金煩腦。而且這樣的情況,還有一段日子才會完結,再加上就算可以重新營業,會有多少顧客會上街購物吃飯消費,還是不可知。有一部份的企業主,看不到前面有多少復甦的機會,乾脆結束生意,帶來的是失業大軍。
維州政府強調壓抑病毒傳播延長隔離無可厚非,但經濟下滑,亦是明顯不過。要協助維州經濟重新啟動,聯邦政府及維州政長要給維州企業更多支持。兩個政府不應互相指責,或是推搪責任,而是要携手合作,在十月底維州重開後,提供更多資金及優惠支持,協助企業重開及發展。要知道維州經濟產出,佔澳洲的四分之一,維州經濟要是倒下來,澳洲整體也會受到極大影響。

Federal government should help Victorians out

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrew offered to the State his ‘4-step Roadmap’ out of lockdown. Most of us feel disappointed and upset because until 26 October we would still be with curfew and on our own.
Prolong home isolation saddens people and could cause mental issue. The State government has put in resources to help those in needs, but it is not easy to acquire services whilst in lockdown. Psychologists and counsellors find it ineffective to work through video connection.
Isolation could also trigger domestic violence. The government even allows victims to leave home for help during curfew, and allows offenders be evicted from the dwelling.
Students bound at homes in their online learning are burdens to working parents as they cannot concentrate in their working. Those requiring team work find it hard and tiring to maintain good working communication. Work supervisors find it difficult to manage their teams. Government services are kept at the minimum.
Besides most basic services are halted, most worrying is many small and retail businesses are closed. Owners without business income apart from government’s ‘job-keeper allowance’ are hard hit least for paying their rents. This situation would drag on for a while, and even on re-opening it is not optimistic that spending level could comfortably resume. Some owners choose just to wind down businesses in view of the uncertainty leading to more unemployment.
It is true that the government must rely on lockdown to combat virus spread but economy downturn must not be overlooked. More business support must come from the federal and state governments to restart Victorian economy after October. These governments must work together in offering more capital subsidy, and not pointing to each other. Victoria’s economic output accounts for 25% of the national total. Australia cannot be in good form if Victoria comes down.

Raymond Chow

Publisher

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