[VIDEO] Channel 7

Bill Lang has urged the Victorian government to bring the state’s contract tracing up to speed with the likes of Service NSW by using a simplified QR code check-in system. Currently, businesses are using different types of systems which dramatically slows the process down when required to contact people to have them isolate and get tested.

Without a simplified QR code check-in system, we are all susceptible to being forced into further lockdowns should a new wave hits.

Bill Lang joined Mike Amor from Channel 7 to discuss the current Victorian QR code check-in system.

See the full clip at Channel 7 – click here to view Channel 7 clip

Bill Lang on Channel 7 News

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Mike Amor 

Business groups are calling for an overhaul of the QR code check-in system. The government’s app is not compulsory, and with a range of other services in use, there are claims of confusion and complacency. Bill Lang is with us now from Small Business Australia. Thanks for joining us, Bill. It’s a pretty simple idea. Should everyone be forced to use the government’s QR system?

Bill Lang 

Look, I think it’s, it’s the most sensible thing to do, Mike, it’s literally you download it once and then everywhere you go, you point it at the QR, you just click it once. You don’t have to re-enter in your information every time. It means for contract tracing, that if you’ve got a full set of information, you can much more quickly than contact the people and get them to isolate and be tested.

At the moment, we’ve probably got more than 100 different types of systems that are being used. And the citizens are getting frustrated with it having to sometimes put in their information over and over again, New South Wales has made it mandatory since the New Year, it’s time we caught up in Victoria.

Mike Amor 

What are you hearing from your members, are customers using QR codes as required?

Bill Lang 

Look, in many cases they are and you know, all Victorians that are doing it because again, we want to stay open. We want our customers to keep coming back. And wherever they can it’s taking place but with the number of the small, smallest businesses, they’ve been so hammered by the last 12 months that just keeping the thing going means they can’t always be sort of enforcing. So they’re doing the best they can and Victorians are doing the best they can but it just needs to be simpler Mike.

Mike Amor 

You’ve mentioned small businesses are overwhelmed and that’s understandable. I assume the end of JobKeeper is on top of their mind from now.

Bill Lang 

Absolutely. So there’s 500,000 businesses still currently getting JobKeeper. There is every likelihood here in Victoria, we could have 10s of 1000s of more close. We’ve got certain industries, like travel agents, for example, who haven’t booked international trips for anybody for over a year. In Victoria, we’ve got more than 600 may well close straight after Easter.

Mike Amor 

Well, how bad will things be at the end of March? Do you think you mentioned there are lots of businesses could close?

Bill Lang 

Yeah look, there’s one and a half million employees that have been accessing JobKeeper in January, more than 20% of the businesses say they’re going to have to lay off staff so that means it could be another 300,000 or 400,000 people that will go on to unemployment, and many of them will be very small business owners.

Mike Amor 

Alright, Bill Lang from Small Business Australia. Thank you very much for your time.

Bill Lang 

Thank you Mike.

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