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covid-19 Opinion

Thai Rock deserves our thanks, not our ridicule

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In the wake of false claims that a family-owned restaurant didn’t take appropriate COVID-19 response measures, the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance corrects the record.

Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance calls on Australians to support their local businesses instead of tearing them down because of unsubstantiated rumours.

Thai Rock restaurant in Wetherill Park has been linked to a ‘cluster’ of COVID-19 cases despite closely following NSW Health regulations.

Thai Rock Restaurant closed as soon they learned an employee tested positive. Every staff member got tested and self-isolated.

Since the incident, the owners of Thai Rock have spoken with NSW Health 3-4 times each day to ensure they were doing everything in their power to stop the spread.

The owners, all the employees, and all the people they came into contact with have self-isolated.

Thai Rock carefully recorded all of their guests’ information according to the NSW requirements, so when they found out about the case in their restaurant they were able to contact all of their customers.

The restaurant has been subjected to public outrage since someone dobbed in the owner’s brother, Eric Lim, for going to work at the family’s hardware store.

Lim didn’t come into contact with anyone suspected of having COVID-19. He hasn’t been to Thai Rock for over a month.

The owners and employees of Thai Rock have gone above and beyond to stop the spread of COVID-19, and yet, many thoughtlessly blame them for the spread of a virus we all know to be highly contagious.

Even the most successful businesses fear a case of COVID-19 among their staff could ruin them. But on top of closing up shop, Thai Rock has also faced undeserved media outrage.

COVID-19 has disrupted everyone’s life and we all want a scapegoat. But now is not the time to cast blame, especially on family-owned businesses. Don’t bankrupt the hands that feed us.

Essential service workers have risked exposure to make sure our Uber Eats arrive hot and on time. They deserve a thank you!

Find a timeline of events here:

  • Thai Rock Wetherill Park had a COVID-19 outbreak.

  • A Thai Rock staff member contracted COVID-19, but was asymptomatic at work

  • After returning home the worker developed symptoms

  • The worker immediately got tested

  • Upon testing positive, the worker contacted the owner of Thai Rock who promptly shut down their entire operations

    • They reported the case to NSW Health and closely followed the instruction of the health officials

    • They sanitised their entire restaurant.

    • They sent all staff to get tested, even though this above the requirements of NSW Health

    • The Wetherill Park staff, the owners of the restaurant, and the people they came into contact with went into self-isolation.

  • A member of the public turned in the owner’s bother for not self-isolating and continuing to work at a nearby hardware store.

    • Eric Lim, the owner’s brother, is not employed by Thai Rock

    • He has not visited Thai Rock for the entire month of July

    • The only person he came into contact from the restaurant tested negative to COVID-19.

    • NSW Health did not request him to self-isolate and

    • NSW didn’t have him in the system as someone who had come into contact with a potential COVID-19 carrier.

    • NSW Health has since confirmed Mr. Lim doesn’t need to self-isolate.

  • This is a business set up and run by a woman who immigrated here from Cambodia. She runs one restaurant with her immigrant husband. Their children run the second restaurant. The owner’s father is an OAM and received his award due to service to the community including providing the local hospital with baby incubators.

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance is the nation’s largest grassroots advocacy group representing the everyday Australian taxpayer.

Through our campaigns, we fight to oppose over-regulation, wasteful spending and burdensome taxes.

Our mission is to transform our nation and build a better, freer, and more prosperous Australia.

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