Aviation grants and tourism loans expected

Daniel McCulloch
(Australian Associated Press)


Aviation grants and business industry loans are expected to replace JobKeeper payments when the wage subsidy scheme ends on March 31.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will outline the replacement pandemic supports in Queensland later this week.

Daniel Gschwind from the Queensland Tourism Industry Council said operators across the state were crying out for more support.

“There are many parts of our industry that are still struggling,” he told ABC radio on Tuesday.

“Cairns is one example, but it’s right across the spectrum of destinations.

“Even in Brisbane and here on the Gold Coast, we have enormous problems with businesses that cannot get international travellers, but also domestic travellers with the uncertainty that we have seen over the last 12 months.”

The Queensland government estimates 50,000 jobs will be lost when JobKeeper ends on March 31, many of those in tourism-dependent regions.

Mr Gschwind hopes it does not come to that, but said it was a real risk, with many small businesses already starting to shed staff.

“That risk is obviously increasing with the end of JobKeeper and we’re urging federal and state governments to really look at every option to ensure that we can keep the skills in place,” he said.

“That’s very important because if we lose the staff and the skills it will be very, very difficult to crank the economy up again when domestic and eventually international visitors return.

“And the cost to the federal government and state governments will be far greater if we lose the staff, lose the skills, and then have to deal with the damage afterwards.”


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