Chef wants bills to be put on hold
One of Townsville's leading chefs has called for governments to ensure the payments that stalled businesses need to make are stopped while they are unable to trade.
Matt Merrin, who operates the Bridgewater and Jam restaurants, said he was in disbelief at the new restrictions on places of social gathering and called for payments on anything from electricity to rates, rents and loans be frozen.
He was concerned the hospitality sector had been singled out.
"The Federal Government need to have a consistent approach, they can't just pick on one industry and shut that down," Mr Merrin said.
He said the Government needed to ensure the ongoing payments that businesses had to make were paused or frozen so that they could emerge in good shape when restrictions were lifted.
"We need a complete pause on payments. Someone needs to have the guts now to pause those responsibilities," Mr Merrin said.
"We need a real pause on some of these big-ticket items so we can get though this."
Restaurateur Jamie Fitzpatrick said he was disappointed businesses in regional Queensland were suffering as a result of the actions of people congregating on Bondi Beach in Sydney.
Mr Fitzpatrick said they would continue to operate the Shorehouse restaurant on the Strand as a takeaway venue but that would not be sustainable.
"I will continue to fight for every one of our employee's jobs for as long as we can," Mr Fitzpatrick said.
"Governments need to realise that having a takeaway is not going to keep our businesses alive."
Coffee Dominion operator Mark McDonald said they were continuing to trade as a takeaway venue and wanted people to know they were not closed.
"The whole thing has impacted on our trade. I think people are simply scared about what's going on," Mr McDonald said.
He said people could come in and buy a takeaway coffee or go online and buy Coffee Dominion coffee beans.
"We've had a bit of a spike in bean sales. People are taking them home. They are battening down the hatches," Mr McDonald said.
Mr Merrin said his businesses were evaluating their position, assessing whether they could undertake any sort of trading and making sure staff were OK.
"We will make decisions in the next couple of days when we have had time to evaluate our options," Mr Merrin said.
Originally published as Chef wants bills to be put on hold