Rod Barton, Leader of the Transport Matters Party raised in Parliament on Tues 4th August the lack of financial support to sole traders that do not meet the "employing' eligibility for the business grants.
See Hansard Speech below
Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (13:36): My question is for Minister Mikakos, representing the Minister for Industry Support and Recovery, Minister Pakula. Minister, on 3 August the government announced additional business support packages that include a one-off grant of $10 000 for employing businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell shire and $5000 for employing businesses in regional local government areas. Minister, the great majority of hire car drivers that work in the commercial passenger industry are sole traders. They had their superannuation taken away from them only a few short years ago. Many operators are bleeding as they have overheads: car loans—in our industry this is akin to a commercial lease on a business property—car insurance, rego and all that on multiple vehicles. Many engage drivers but do not employ them in the traditional sense of the word, so they are not eligible. The hire car industry, as for all personalised transport providers, relies exclusively on the movement of people to earn an income. My question to the minister is: what support packages are available for the many thousands of sole trader hire car drivers that have not been able
to work since March?
Ms MIKAKOS (Northern Metropolitan—Minister for Health, Minister for Ambulance Services, Minister for the Coordination of Health and Human Services: COVID-19) (13:37):I thank the member for his question. I will be referring his question to the responsible minister, who will provide him with a written response in accordance with the standing orders.
Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (13:37): Thank you, Minister. My supplementary question is: will the government make a commitment to review the support packages to cover hire car drivers— those who have fallen through the cracks—who are sole traders?
Ms MIKAKOS (Northern Metropolitan—Minister for Health, Minister for Ambulance Services, Minister for the Coordination of Health and Human Services: COVID-19) (13:37): I refer the member to the response I gave to his previous question.