Small business Regional Victoria COVID-19 COVID -19 recovery

Fitness industry has no confidence in Daniel Andrews

05 October 2020

Member for Euroa Steph Ryan has slammed the Andrews Government for leaving gyms and indoor fitness facilities in the lurch, with no pathway out of lockdown.

Ms Ryan met with Benalla’s Primal Health Club’s Scott Upston today. Mr Upston said he had lost confidence in Daniel Andrews’ decision making and is on the verge of walking away from his business after not being allowed to open his doors for several months.

“We don’t want a hand out, we want a hand up. I want an opportunity to trade my way out of the significant financial debt that I continue to incur every day,” Mr Upston said.

“Every day I wake up, I am further and further and further in the financial hole with no way to trade out. I am selling off assets in order to try to support my family.

“I have three little boys under the age of 10 – I need to support them. All I’m asking for is an opportunity.”

Ms Ryan said the current lockdown and the second wave could be traced in its entirety to the Andrews Government’s failures on hotel quarantine and contact tracing.

“It is heartbreaking to see people like Scott Upston, who have put in years of blood, sweat and tears, on the verge of losing their business because of decisions made by the Andrews Government,” Ms Ryan said.

“Daniel Andrews has refused to take responsibility for the actions of his government, even though the consequences of those decisions have been catastrophic.”

Ms Ryan said the health and fitness industry in regional Victoria should be allowed to reopen if they could demonstrate that they can do so safely – as they could during stage 3 in the first lockdown.

“How does it make sense for gyms to stay closed when hundreds of people can be in Bunnings, kids are back at school and you can sit in the hairdresser’s chair for three hours?”

The Nationals have highlighted in Parliament the inconsistencies between the Premier’s announcement and his published road map which has business owners in the health and fitness industry in the dark with no date for reopening.

“The Premier’s website, roadmap and the DHHS’ website all stated that gyms could reopen under Step 3 as ‘heavily restricted’, but when the Premier announced the move to Step 3 he verbally advised otherwise,” Ms Ryan said.  

“Gym owners from across the region are understandably frustrated given there have been no recorded cases of coronavirus transmission in gyms.”

“I urge anyone who has lost confidence in the Andrews Government’s handling of this crisis to send a message directly to Daniel Andrews at,” Ms Ryan said.

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