"'JobKeeper-style' payments needed for cut-off communities" - The Mercury

AS works begin on the removal of a 60-tonne rock above the road at Paradise Gorge, west of Orford, businesses and families on either side of the Tasman Highway closure are coming to terms with the effects it will have on their lives over the next few weeks.

The owner of Triabunna's local service station, Jay Baulch, is feeling the pinch just three days after the road's closure.

"We're down [in customers] about 30 per cent. We haven't been told anything further about the works it's been very quiet," Mr Baulch said.

The local business owner has even had to pause the apprenticeship of his employee, who is unable to commute from Midway Point.

Federal Member for Lyons Brian Mitchell said compensation in the form of a JobKeeper payment should be urgently implemented by the state government for affected businesses along the East Coast.

"A JobKeeper-style payment would help ensure eligible businesses can survive this severe interruption to their trade and that employees retain income and a link to their affected place of work," Mr Mitchell said.

Buckland business owner Sally Murfet is also calling for more support and said she, along with many other residents, had been campaigning for these works for years.

"I really don't think the [state] government has taken East Coast residents into consideration," she said.

"They're all thinking Orford is some sleepy seaside village where people come to spend time at the shack and that's the extent of those who are impacted." On Sunday, trucks shuttled between Orford Quarry and Paradise Gorge, collecting gravel to be laid on the highway, acting as a cushion to protect the road surface from falling rocks during the repair.

"On Monday through to Wednesday, contractors will start removing loose debris and smaller rocks from the cliff face . to help set up a safe worksite," a State Roads spokesperson said.

"We will also install concrete barriers, which will protect the road and the retaining wall from damage." Buckland father Tony Dowling said the repairs were disruptive for his five-year-old son El, who will be attending Sorell School for one week before heading to a satellite school at Buckland Hall.

"He seems to be quite happy to go to Sorell School, but he was a bit apprehensive over the weekend," Mr Dowling said.

"It looks like there will be about 15 to 16 kids at the Buckland Hall from next week."

As seen in The Mercury - (https://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/works-begin-rocks-removed-from-cliff-face-as-tasman-highway-closure-leaves-locals-in-limbo/news-story/d834786fa549015a632cc086228b5f6d)