Victoria’s second wave claimed more than 800 lives and caused four months of tough restrictions, including a nighttime curfew, a widespread commercial shut-down, and a ban on leaving home for anything but exercise and essentials.
Scattini said some business owners had gone from earning $10,000 a week down to $50 while others were forced to cease operating completely while the restrictions were in place. Two years on, they were still struggling, he said.
“Nothing will give business owners back the sleepless nights, but the negligence can and should be addressed, and business owners ought to be compensated,” Scattini said. “That’s what this class action is about, and we welcome the court’s decision, which allows it to go forward.”
The state government lodged an application to have the case thrown out in March last year.
Over two days in the Supreme Court, the state’s lawyers argued the government held responsibility towards all Victorians, including the ill and elderly, not just businesses.
They argued the state did not have a duty of care to avoid economic loss when restrictions were imposed by a chief health officer using a discretionary power.
Their bid failed in December and lawyers launched a second attempt to toss the case in April, which has now also failed.
The Victorian government has been contacted for comment.
with Tammy Mills
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