PRESS RELEASE – Released 10 September 2020
The Australian Car Wash Association Calls for Changes to Victorian COVID Restrictions
Car wash operators across Melbourne were dealt a savage blow with the State Government’s release of its Roadmap to Recovery on Sunday 6 September, 2020.
Already suffering massive losses from reduced road traffic during Stage 3 Restrictions, Melbourne’s car wash sites were forced to close when Stage 4 Restrictions were imposed. And, under the Roadmap restrictions announced last weekend, commercial car washes will remain closed until October 26, 2020.
“Our Victorian car wash sites have been doing it tough since restrictions commenced,” said Neil Fox President of the Australian Car Wash Association (ACWA).
“In March/April our members, who are mostly small family-owned business, reported wash numbers down by up to 90% in some locations. It became even worse when forced to close during Stage 4 Restrictions” said Fox. “The COVID-19 restrictions have placed these businesses, their families, and thousands of unskilled workers under financial stress from which some may never recover”.
The Australian Car Wash Association (ACWA) has made a submission to the Victorian Government Ministers to have Melbourne’s car wash sites open from September 29, 2020.
The car wash industry is significant. Across the country, more than 3,000 car wash sites have an economic impact of $527m and employ over 5,000 people. And, Victoria leads the country with more wash locations than any other state.
The industry has its big players, including the major fuel companies. However, it is predominantly a community of small business men and women who have invested heavily in equipment that can take years to produce a financial return.
The industry’s biggest frustration is that car washing ticks all the Government’s boxes for a sector that should be able to open when restrictions ease slightly on September 29:
- Car washing has a low impact on community movement – Car washing is a vital product purchase for many however, most car wash customers purchase the product when engaged in another permitted activity; on the way to or from permitted work, whilst filling their car with petrol or on the way to the supermarket for food.
- Automatic car washes in particular, provide a “click and collect” service – Customers remain in their vehicle, have no human contact whatsoever and with touch-free payment options available, there is almost no risk of COVID transmission.
- Commercial car washes operate in the lowest possible risk environment – outdoors.
“The Victorian Government has indicated a desire to get COVID-safe businesses up and running as soon as possible. Commercial car washing is an extraordinarily safe product purchase, particularly the automated drive-through services where drivers do not have to leave their cars” said Fox
“We will continue to work with the Government to deliver a sensible restart to the car wash industry and we believe at a minimum Melbourne’s Automatic car washes should be permitted to open from September 29 2020”.
For further information and interview opportunities please contact
Australian Car Wash Association