AFL star says Victoria’s lockdowns are causing ‘financial Armageddon’ for millions in Melbourne

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AFL star unleashes Victoria’s lockdown for causing ‘financial Armageddon’ for thousands of closed businesses – causing cancer-stricken star to lose $28,000 a week

  • Former AFL star undergoing chemotherapy says lockdowns are ruining lives
  • Paul Dimattina developed a neurological disorder as a result of pandemic stress
  • Former Western Bulldogs player says restaurant is losing $28k a week

Paul Dimattina, son of Richmond's favorite Frank, played with the Western Bulldogs for eight years before retiring to run the family business.

Paul Dimattina, son of Richmond’s favorite Frank, played with the Western Bulldogs for eight years before retiring to run the family business.

A former AFL star in the midst of chemotherapy for a rare condition claims Victoria’s repeated lockdowns are causing ‘financial Armageddon’ and his restaurant is losing $28,000 a week.

Paul Dimattina, son of Richmond favorite Frank, played for the Western Bulldogs for eight years before retiring to run the family businesses until last year when he developed a rare condition due to the stress of the pandemic.

Dimattina, 46, developed a neurological disease that affected the nerves in his face, his ability to breathe and his speech as his nervous system fell apart.

He has been running his family restaurants on Melbourne’s famed Lygon Street and his own wine bar in South Melbourne since retiring, claiming the latter, an establishment called Lamaro’s, is bleeding $28,000 a week.

“It’s financial Armageddon for businesses here,” he told the… Herald Sun.

“I’m $28,000 in the hole, 28 thousand a week. I have my wages, my rent and utilities to pay.’

Dimattina, 46, developed a neurological disease that affected nerves in his face, impairing his ability to breathe and speech as his nervous system fell apart during the pandemic last year.

Dimattina, 46, developed a neurological disease that affected nerves in his face, impairing his ability to breathe and speech as his nervous system fell apart during the pandemic last year.

Dimattina, 46, developed a neurological disease that affected nerves in his face, impairing his ability to breathe and speech as his nervous system fell apart during the pandemic last year.

Dimattina, whose condition is being treated by doctors as if he were battling cancer, said the stress of juggling business and family life during the pandemic led to a complete physical and mental breakdown.

He has three children in school and said their discontinuation from education was a major cause for concern.

“The main reason I am so stressed and depressed is my children,” Dimattina said.

“They were amazed when the government said we would go into lockdown again and not go to school. They’ve lost their s**t.’

Dimattina said the reality of the prolonged lockdowns caused him enormous financial distress as a business owner and also his staff, as he had to lay off some of them.

“People are turning to everything they can to put food on their table so you can pay your rent. For some… it can lead to crime, drug sales, prostitution,” he said.

Dimattina says the reality of the prolonged lockdowns is causing him enormous financial distress as a business owner and also his staff, and says he has had to lay off staff

Dimattina says the reality of the prolonged lockdowns is causing him enormous financial distress as a business owner and also his staff, and says he has had to lay off staff

Dimattina says the reality of the prolonged lockdowns is causing him enormous financial distress as a business owner and also his staff, and says he has had to lay off staff

Dimattina says his restaurant and wine bar is bleeding Lamaro's $28k a week

Dimattina says his restaurant and wine bar is bleeding Lamaro's $28k a week

Dimattina says his restaurant and wine bar is bleeding Lamaro’s $28k a week

State government sources said Melbourne’s lockdown will be lifted as scheduled at 11:59pm on Thursday, with restrictions likely to be eased on those currently in place in regional Victoria.

“We are definitely on track to lift the lockdown as planned unless there is a massive shock coming, we would expect that to happen,” a senior source told the Herald Sun.

Victoria registered just two new locally acquired cases on Tuesday, both linked to existing outbreaks, bringing the total number of locally acquired cases to 85.

The Department of Health has confirmed that both are related to the current outbreaks, involving the Delta and Kappa variants.

Downgraded restrictions implemented in regional Victoria as it left lockdown on Friday included wearing masks indoors, caps at home and public gatherings and capacity restrictions at offices, venues, bars and restaurants.

However, sources said Melbourne schools are likely to return to classroom learning and children’s sports competitions will be allowed.

It is clear that the government notified key industries on Monday of the changes as of midnight Thursday.

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