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MDBA Members elect new President

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MDBA Members elect new President Jon Gifford

“I look forward to serving our members and building on the MDBA successes of the last few years with a clear Strategic Plan,  growing 100+ membership, full time Executive Officer in Wes Mudge and series of strategies to be implemented for member benefit the MDBA is delivering on its promise to members.  We take this opportunity to thank outgoing President John Lazarov for his outstanding service to the MDBA and thank him for his significant contribution in what has been businesses most challenging times in many years and I look forward to continuing to support the Mansfield regions businesses over the next 12 months and ahead”.

Jon Gifford

View Jon's Bio

COVID-19 Support Programs

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Media Release 23rd August 2021

The MDBA welcomes the business support programs and the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment for employees throughout regional Victoria, following Saturdays return to lockdown for another 2 weeks. We understand qualifying business will automatically receive payments of $5,600 (2,800 per week) if they have previously received grants under the Business Costs Assistance Round Two or July Extension programs.

Automatic payments of $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000 per week will be made to more than 2,000 licensed hospitality premises in regional Victoria that have previously received grants under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 or July Extension programs. A total of $34.5 million has been allocated to this new licensed hospitality venue initiative. Payment amounts will be tiered according to premises capacity: $5,000 for a capacity of up to 99 patrons, $10,000 for a capacity of 100 to 499 patrons, and $20,000 for a capacity of 500 patrons or more.

Victoria’s alpine region attracts more than 1 million visitors in a standard year but has been significantly impacted by lockdown restrictions and border closures during the peak winter period. This targeted program will provide payments of $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000 per week depending on business type and location, with a total of $11.2 million allocated to the program extension.

Eligible workers across Victoria who lose hours of work due to the lockdown will be able to access the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment, as will individuals who are soletrader business owners who lose work and that do not qualify for Victorian Government support programs. The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is administered through Services Australia, with the Federal Government funding the areas declared a Commonwealth hotspot and the Victorian Government assuming responsibility to fund payments in the rest of the state.

The payment is set at $450 for people who have lost from eight to 20 hours work or a full day of work (over seven days), and $750 for 20 hours or more of work lost. People who receive certain Commonwealth income support are eligible to receive a $200 payment where they have lost eight hours or more of work due to the lockdowns.

Victorian micro-businesses and sole trader business owners who wish to apply for the Commonwealth COVID-19 Disaster Payment can access the Business Victoria Concierge Service on 13 22 15 and schedule an appointment that will provide them with assistance to make an application.

Support for COVID-19 Restrictions in Mansfield

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Mansfield Shire businesses and our people continue to meet the challenging restrictions imposed from COVID-19. Restrictions significantly reduce traffic and trade with our tourism sector being particularly effected. These restrictions having now impacted 200 trading days since the beginning of March 2020, accommodation, hospitality and activity-based businesses critically suffer from ongoing closures and the inability of Melbourne residents to travel to the region.

With the current levels of vaccination in Victoria, it is likely that lockdown restrictions will continue in some form or another for some time. Recently the Shepparton area has recorded 3 positive waste-water samples unfortunately increasing the likelihood of further restrictions. Now is the time for businesses to review their COVID-19 plans and strategies to mitigate potential risks.

The MDBA have developed a fact sheet and additional resources aimed at assisting our members to meet the challenges brought about by COVID-19 restrictions. These tools are available on our MDBA website via the resource page and include an action plan that workplaces can implement if they have a member of staff contact COVID-19 and government COVID-19 compliance resources.

To be attributed to MDBA Executive Officer Wes Mudge:

“Our aim is to support and assist businesses during these demanding times and hopefully with
quick and easy access to tools and resources like these, we can make the demands a little
more manageable. We continue to advocate with State and Federal members on behalf of
businesses and people for greater government assistance for those adversely affected by the
devastating lockdowns and impacts following the virus repeated escapes and spreading
events. We urge community members who can, to play their role and get vaccinated, assisting
with reaching the 80% community vaccination target.”

Mansfield Christmas Windows Scavenger Hunt

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Proudly presented by the Community Bank Mansfield & District, MDBA, The Mansfield Shire and Mansfield Courier, the Mansfield Christmas Windows Scavenger Hunt will bring the magic of Christmas to town, offering a fun activity for families from near and far as they work through the list of clues to find the Christmas Pigs hidden throughout The Mansfield Christmas Windows.

Open to all retailers within walking distance of the town centre, participating retailers will each be provided with a very special Community Bank Christmas Pig to hide somewhere within their own Christmas window display, as well as a Christmas Poster* marking their participation in the scavenger hunt and a Merry Christmas wish to all.

The initiative will be promoted in the Courier, on social media in community group facebook pages and throughout the networks of key stakeholders.

Through this initiative we hope to develop an annual event that will attract locals and visitors from far and wide to come and see The Mansfield Christmas Windows.

The first 30 retail outlets to register their participation will receive a $100 grant to spend on their Christmas window display, with thanks to the Community Bank Mansfield & District.

If you would like help bring the magic of Christmas to the Mansfield Windows, please register below…

*To help support our whole region with more family fun adventure, we would like to include events from all across the Mansfield District on the Christmas What’s On Poster – to add your event, please email details to:  before November 1st, 2021.


Should you have any questions, please contact Stevie:


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Monday, 9 August 2021

Victorians continue to do an incredible job keeping each other safe from coronavirus and our contact tracers are continuing to chase down every case in this outbreak. Following advice from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, the lockdown in regional Victoria will lift from 11:59pm tonight.

One of the most important things regional Victorians can do as we ease restrictions is to get themselves vaccinated to protect their family, friends, and their community. Eligible Victorians can book in at one of 50 open access sites across the state, through a Commonwealth clinic or their trusted GP.

There have been no new coronavirus cases in regional Victoria and thousands of primary close contacts have been cleared from the regions over the last few weeks.

The Chief Health Officer has advised that from 11:59pm tonight the five reasons to leave the home can be removed in regional Victoria and there will be no limit on the distance regional Victorians can travel from home. However, people will only be able to travel to Melbourne for a permitted reason and you must follow the Melbourne restrictions once there.

Importantly, private gatherings in the home are still not permitted, however, outdoor gatherings in public spaces can occur with up to 10 people. Face masks will also still be mandatory indoors and outdoors.

Food and hospitality will open for seated service only, a density requirement of 1 person per 4sqm will apply, with a maximum of 100 people per venue. Venues smaller than 100sqm can have up to 25 people before density requirements apply.

Retail can also open and personal services such as beauty and tattooing can resume. Face masks can be removed where required for the service to be performed.

Religious gatherings and ceremonies are allowed, with density requirements of 1 person per 4sqm, and no more than 100 people total indoors and 300 people outdoors per venue.

Weddings and funerals are also able to have up to 50 people at a venue. This limit doesn’t include infants under 12 months of age, or the people required to conduct the service.

Community sport is open for all ages, including training and competition. Only the minimum number of participants (players, coaches, referees, officials, and carers or parents) needed to train or compete are permitted to attend, subject to a density quotient of 1 person per 4 sqm. Spectators are not permitted.

Entertainment venues can have up to 300 people per outdoor space with a density requirement of 1 person per 4 sqm and a cap of 100 people per space indoors. All entertainment facilities are required to have a COVID Check-in Marshal to monitor patrons checking-in with the Service Victoria app.

While stay at home orders remain in metropolitan Melbourne, we need to ensure the virus does not travel into regional Victoria. Businesses that are open in regional Victoria but closed in Melbourne – restaurants for dine-in service or beauty for example – must check the IDs of everyone they serve.

All regional Victorians need to continue with their COVIDSafe behaviours – most importantly to get tested immediately if they have any symptoms at all and get vaccinated if it’s their turn.

To book a vaccination at one of Victoria’s state-run clinics visit

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We’ve always said the moment it’s safe to lift restrictions we will. While we continue to get on top of this outbreak in Melbourne, minimal primary close contacts and no new cases means we can ease setting in regional Victoria”

“This outbreak is an important reminder that until more Australians are vaccinated, we cannot afford complacency to creep in – we must stay safe to stay open.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley
“Victoria’s open access system is vaccinating more people than any other state or territory and we’re continuing to ask Victorians – if you’re eligible please get vaccinated – it’s our only pathway out of the pandemic.”

For more information call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 or visit