House debates

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Statements by Members

Ryan Electorate: COVID-19

10:58 am

Photo of Julian SimmondsJulian Simmonds (Ryan, Liberal National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The impact of COVID restrictions on businesses has been profound, but so too has been their resilience and adaptability. Particularly in my electorate of Ryan, small and medium businesses that have been dealt severe blows have adapted, have changed, have rejigged and resourced to redesign their entire business model to ensure they can continue to serve their local community. I know how much this has been appreciated by the local community, because they have reached out and have spoken to me about how much it means just to get a takeaway coffee and a bit of a chat during these anxious times. So, I wanted to give a few shout-outs to local businesses in my electorate of Ryan, and their staff, who have done a tremendous job continuing to serve their communities—good people like Pramesh at Cafe Tara at The Gap. Normally, Cafe Tara does dine-in meals, but he's had to adapt. He and his family are now cooking traditional Indian takeaway, which is so successful that you have to book weeks in advance to make sure you get your meal. Or Luke and the team at Suburban Social in Chapel Hill. They're a small but popular local bar, who, following the restrictions, have not been able to do dine-in and have completely changed their model to a drive-through service. They have worked with their suppliers to put together produce boxes that people could pick up from the drive-through service. There are people like Dean and the team at JAX Tyres at Mitchelton—locally franchised, employing locals. They know that cars still need to be serviced and tyres still need to be fixed at this time, but, to allay the fears of people as to coming into the workshop, they now offer to pick up your car, return it to your door and sanitise it as well.

Gyms were required to shut—unlike other businesses, like cafes that could still open for takeaways—so they have had to adapt significantly. But local gyms in Ryan know how important physical exercise is to people's mental health, particularly at this time. So people like Lisa and the team at F45 gym in Pullenvale and Indooroopilly have been offering live training through Zoom and pre-recorded daily sessions for their regular clients.

The restrictions—as worthy, important and worthwhile as they have been—have taken a toll on families, individuals and business owners. Today the Morrison government makes an important announcement: to appoint the country's first deputy chief medical officer for mental health. It is vital that mental health, particularly during this anxious time, be elevated as a priority, as this announcement will ensure it is. We can't allow our fellow Australians to succumb to anxiety in isolation when there is support available to them. I have reached out to every person in my electorate of Ryan this week, through their mailboxes, to outline the support resources available to them, and I encourage residents in Ryan who are doing it tough to speak up, reach out and receive the support that is available to them and that we all need from time to time.