‘A shadow of the industry that we were’: Restaurateur Chris Lucas says Victoria can’t rebuild until there is accountability #shadow #industry #Restaurateur #Chris #Lucas #Victoria #rebuild #accountability #englishheadline


Restaurateur Chris Lucas says Melbourne can’t rebuild until there is government accountability for the mistakes made during the coronavirus pandemic.

The LUCAS Restaurants founder – which boasts institutions including Society, Grill Americano and Chin Chin – was an outspoken critic of the Victorian government over the course of the pandemic.

Mr Lucas said the restaurant industry is now a shadow of what it once was after 262 days of lockdowns and various restrictions forced upon businesses.

“It certainly wasn’t good for me, and it certainly wasn’t good for Melbourne or for our industry,” he told Englishheadline Australia.

“We are a shadow of the industry that we were before COVID.

“Two years of lockdown. Not just financially caused so much trauma for us but it emotionally left many scars on this city.”

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Earlier on Friday, Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sally Cap drew criticism for praising the COVID-19 pandemic and relentless lockdowns as not only “good” for the city but also for being “life changing”.

“There aren’t many who will stand in front of an audience like this and say COVID has been good for anything or anyone,” she said in a TedX speech.

“But I’m here to do just that.”

Mr Lucas said Ms Capp will come to regret the “insensitive” comments made and will hopefully apologise.

“Knowing the person that she is, she will look back on those comments, hopefully put them back into some context and maybe apologise or withdraw those comments,” he said.

“She was here during those two years; she knows how bad it was.”

Ahead of Saturday’s election RedBridge Group has suggested that Labor could fall two seats short of the 45 needed to form a majority government.

Mr Lucas however said state’s experience with the coronavirus pandemic can’t be overlooked and that there must be some accountability.

“What has happened has left deep, indelible scars. Especially mentally, psychologically on our city, our small businesses, our people that work and live in our city,” he said.

“They need to own up to it. I think we should talk about it more openly because over the next few years, as the truth comes out about what happened over the last two years, I think our leaders are going to have to fess up.

“And say that mistakes were made and that until we get that level of honesty, I don’t think we can rebuild.”

On the last day of campaigning, the Premier declared “the choice could not clearer” between Labor and the Coalition, while Opposition leader Matthew Guy warned voters against a “Daniel Andrews hangover” on Sunday.

Mr Andrews is hoping to become only the third Labor leader in Victoria’s history after John Cain and Steve Bracks to win a third consecutive election, while Mr Guy is aiming to reverse his political fortunes after being defeated by Mr Andrews in 2018.

Labor heads into the election holding a notional 56 seats in an 88 seat lower house, while the Coalition is on 27, the Greens three and independents two.

The Coalition needs a net gain of 18 seats to win government for only the second time since 1999.

English Headline

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