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Industry welcomes Federal Government’s announcement of JobKeeper extension

Industry welcomes Federal Government’s announcement of JobKeeper extension
July 21, 2020

Industry groups have welcomed the Federal Government's announcement that its JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs will be extended into 2021.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced this morning that both programs will be extended, although payments will be cut.

JobKeeper (2.0) allowances paid to employers will fall from $1,500 a fortnight to $1,200 a fortnight per employee in September and fall again in 2021. In addition, people working fewer than 20 hours a week will receive $750 in September and $650 in 2021.

With industry bodies having been calling for an extension of the JobKeeper program, the move has been welcomed.

The Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) has released a statement advising that the extension provides "certainty" for thousands of Australians.

TTF Chief Executive Margy Osmond said the industry had been strongly advocating for an extension to the JobKeeper program though to at least March of next year to enable the sector to survive and provide more time to recover, stating "as the significant economic and health challenges brought about by COVID-19 remain front and centre over the immediate period ahead, the Government has heard the voice of the tourism industry loud and clear about the critical need to continue JobKeeper in place as an economic lifeline.

“From accommodation providers, airlines, airports and cruising through to tourism operators, major and business events, performing arts centres and restaurants and cafes, today’s announcement gives our industry critical breathing space.”

“JobKeeper 2.0 will help to save thousands more tourism employees from the unemployment queue and keep them in jobs so that when we eventually come out the other side of COVID-19, we will be ready to move swiftly into the recovery phase."

Research conducted by Stafford Strategy for TTF reveals that the extension of JobKeeper until March 2021 will help to stem the flow of tourism jobs lost as a result of the ongoing restrictions on travel in place because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Advising that the industry has been losing almost $10 billion per month since COVID-19 enforced lockdowns came into place and all this coming off the back of a catastrophic bushfire season that decimated tourism reliant destinations across the country, Osmond added "while some of our State and Territory borders continue to remain shut and with planned openings postponed forcing many people to delay making plans to travel, any eventual uptick in domestic tourism will not be sufficient to fill the $4 billion black hole left by the lack of international inbound travel.

“While we understand the JobKeeper scheme cannot go on indefinitely, tourism-related businesses have borne the brunt of government-ordered business closures and border closures."

The Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), which represents Australia’s largest live event businesses, also backed the six-month extension with Chair James Sutherland (pictured), stating “we applaud the Federal Government on its decision to extend JobKeeper for another six months. We have been speaking to the Government since our formation and it has understood the destructive impact the pandemic is having on our industry.

“LEIF’s mission is to bring fans back safely to live events and as a result bring back jobs to our industry. JobKeeper has played a critical role in keeping thousands of people in the live entertainment and sport industries employed. Its extension gives us some clarity to plan ahead and breathing space to work on industry specific initiatives that tackle the unique challenges our sector faces.

“The rising virus numbers are a concern and give rise to further uncertainty about the road back. Live events have long lead times and, barring a timetable for us to be able to re-activate our businesses, we remain somewhat paralysed. Until venues can welcome fans at scale back into large live events, the industry and its tens of thousands of employees will remain vulnerable.”

Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) Executive Director Simon Westaway has also welcomed JobKeeper 2.0, commenting "the Federal Government’s retention of JobKeeper was an absolute priority for our heavily impacted tourism industry, an employer of 1 million Australians, powered by thousands of small businesses. We recognise the significance of the continuing commitment to this valued Program.

“JobKeeper to date has done the job intended enabling sustainable businesses including most tourism enterprises to keep on key workers until the economy and visitor demand recovers.

“JobKeeper 2.0’s six-month extension provides certainty to keep tourism business doors open because most still await visitor recovery with a firmly closed international border and ongoing domestic border restrictions in place across states and territories in response to COVID-19.

“Australia’s border constraints remain critical in both tourism’s and our economy’s ability to effectively recover. Today’s announcement cannot mask this obvious ongoing economic impediment which drove our call-out for JobKeeper’s targeted extension.

“However, ATIC’s positive 5-point plan for JobKeeper’s future has been largely captured and we and our business members will work constructively with Government around its next-phase.

“ATIC will engage with Government and Opposition parties to assess how regular seasonal employees are treated in JobKeeper’s future two-payment tiered calculations, particularly recognising northern Australia, and remaining responsive to the clear ongoing uncertainty over our international border’s ability to reopen.”

The JobKeeper wage subsidy is paid to 960,000 employers, who then pass the full payment onto 3.5 million workers.

Related Articles

19th July 2020 - Without JobKeeper 60% of Australian fitness businesses will close in less than a month

18th July 2020 - Thousands back ATIC petition for retention of JobKeeper allowance

16th July 2020 - Queensland Government ends Cairns Global Tourism Hub process

15th July 2020 - South Australian nature-based tourism destinations to receive funding boost

12th July 2020 - Federal Government to provide $233 million backing for tourism in national parks

11th July 2020 - Victoria Tourism Industry Council welcomes business support package for ‘battered’ tourism industry 

30th June 2020 - Tourism WA extends deadline for Business Survival Grant applications

25th June 2020 - New study highlights the value of arts festivals in reviving South Australia’s post COVID-19 tourism

23rd June 2020 - Outback tourism attractions to share in $3 million of funding

23rd June 2020 - ATEC warns domestic travel not a simple fix for Australia’s tourism industry

19th June 2020 - Tourism and Transport Forum calls for extension of JobKeeper for another six months

16th June 2020 - Australian tourism suffers 99.7% fall in international arrivals

26th May 2020 - Call for JobKeeper underspend to be allocated to revive Australian tourism

12th May 2020 - Village Roadshow Chief Executive calls for JobKeeper extension as Queensland Government’s Coronavirus easing roadmap suggests reopening of theme parks, entertainment venues and stadiums in June

29th April 2020 - JobKeeper improvements needed to sustain Queensland Arts Sector

9th April 2020 - ATIC welcomes JobKeeper payment scheme

7th April 2020 - Fears tourism businesses may not be eligible for JobKeeper payments

3rd April 2020 - Royal Life Saving welcomes JobKeeper payments as a ‘$700 million lifeline’ for aquatic facilities and swim schools

31st March 2020 - ATIC supports $130 billion JobKeeper package

31st March 2020 - Australian Government launches $130 billion ‘JobKeeper’ wage subsidy


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