Mr BURGESS (Hastings) — On 14 August a letter was sent to the Minister for Public Transport, the Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, the Minister for Roads and Road Safety and the member for Frankston, calling on them to attend the next meeting of the Young Street Traders to be held on 28 August. Of course none bothered to attend.
The joint letter was signed by me as shadow minister for small business; Chris Crewther, the federal member for Dunkley; the deputy mayor of Frankston City Council and member of the Labor Party, Steve Toms; several other Frankston City councillors; the Frankston Business Network and 36 Young Street traders. It was hoped the letter would draw the attention of the three ministers and the local member for Frankston to the desperate plight of the Frankston Young Street traders and surrounding businesses that have been so badly affected by the repeated delays to the Young Street works.
Families are suffering, and the emotional and financial stress is taking a great toll on the mental health of business owners. A number of traders are seeking help for mental health issues, including depression, and sadly there have been reports of attempted suicide as a result of the stress and damage to business caused by what can only be described as the total disinterest of the local member.
On 22 August during question time in the other place the Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade was asked whether he planned to attend the meeting and if he would consider compensation. Unfortunately, once again, he responded that it was not his responsibility.