The Queensland government will provide the state’s tourism and hospitality sector with a much-needed $47.75 million support package.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the Tourism and Hospitality Sector COVID-19 Lockdown Support Package on Wednesday, and said it would address the twin burden posed by international and domestic border closures and snap lockdowns.
“My government is responding to the impact [lockdown] is having on businesses across the state, particularly those in the tourism and hospitality sectors,” Palaszczuk said.
Treasurer and Minister for Investment Cameron Dick said the package was the result of close consultation with businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors.
“We’ve listened to what business has to say and we know the measures deliver immediate cash flow assistance,” he said.
Dick said the package would provide eligible businesses in the sector with the waiving, refunding or deferring a range of fees and charges, including a six-month deferral of payroll tax payments and liquor licensing fee waivers.
“Given the impact of lockdowns on licensed venues, we will ease the burden by waiving or refunding liquor licensing fees for the 2021-22 financial for existing businesses, at a cost of up to $22 million,” Dick said.
“In response to the lockdown in Cairns and Yarrabah in the far north, we are also extending eligibility for the $5,000 COVID-19 Business Support Grants to include large tourism and hospitality businesses outside south-east Queensland.”
Yesterday, the three-day snap lockdown for Cairns and Yarrabah was lifted after the state recorded only four new cases of COVID-19 linked to a known cluster in Indooroopilly.
The Treasurer also announced a $20 million Queensland COVID-19 Cleaning Rebate to provide assistance for small and medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations affected by possible exposure to a COVID case.
“Businesses and community organisations throughout the state have helped keep Queenslanders safe by acting swiftly and responsibly to undertake deep cleaning when a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 has been on their premise,” Dick said.
“The COVID-19 Cleaning Rebate will help cover these expenses by providing up to 80 per cent of cleaning costs, capped at $10,000 per incident, where a business is a confirmed COVID-19 exposure site.”
The announcement came days after Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) made four new appointments to its board to help support recovery.
Joining the TEQ board are marketing professional Brian Hennessy; Wulgurukaba and Bidjara man Duane Fraser, who is a Traditional Owner of the Great Barrier Reef and south-central Queensland; and Kylie Blucher, who is the managing director of Nine in Queensland, northern NSW and the Northern Territory.
Paul Martyn, CEO of Trade and Investment Queensland, has also joined the TED board as an ex-officio appointment.
Existing members Chris Mills, Sarah Kelly, Brenda LaPorte and Nancy Bamaga will return to the board for second consecutive terms.
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the appointments to the TEQ board were of a high calibre.
“The new members of the TEQ board join at a critical time in the recovery and rebuilding of Queensland’s tourism industry,” he said.
“They bring to the TEQ board an accomplished mix of industry leadership, regional knowledge, and media and marketing expertise.”
Featured image source: Facebook/annastaciamp