The Victorian state government has announced it will spend $196.6 million on one-off support payments for construction businesses affected by lockdown restrictions from 21 September to 4 October.

According to the government, more than 70,000 businesses could be eligible for the grants.

A press release from Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas claimed that the payments “would have been doubled if the Commonwealth had not refused to contribute to the Victorian construction industry.”

“The Victorian Government will go it alone with construction industry support and give businesses the help they need to get back on their feet as our state moves along our roadmap to reopening,” said Pallas.

“It’s up to Josh Frydenberg and the Prime Minister to explain why construction businesses in Victoria have been treated differently to those in NSW.”