The tens of thousands of South Australians who work in tourism and who will be central to the recovery of the sector after the COVID-19 crisis, can now be kept on the books thanks to significant funding packages announced yesterday by the Federal Government.
South Australian tourism operators are being urged to apply for the JobKeeper payment to do more than keep them afloat – to ensure they hold onto the people and skills needed to put them in the best position to rebound quickly on the other side, even if the operator may go into hibernation and close down for six months.
The $130 billion JobKeeper package – which offers employers who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis $1,500 per fortnight for each employee they can keep on their books – is massive relief to the state’s tourism sector.
South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive Rodney Harrex said the support plan would inject much-needed cash into thousands of tourism operators and is pleading with them to hold onto the people and skills they will need when travel restrictions are lifted.
“Tourism is a key driver of our state’s economy and we need to do everything we can to support South Australian tourism operators and the nearly 40,000 people they employ, to give them the best chance to be able to rebound on the other side,” said Mr Harrex.
“As one of the hardest hit industries by COVID-19, tourism is also one that depends on its people and their knowledge and passion to thrive. This new wave of support from the Federal Government is critical to support tourism operators and keep them connected with their incredibly passionate people, even for those businesses who may have to close down for several months.
“It’s not only a lifeline to get through this crisis, it will give South Australia’s tourism sector the best chance at getting back to its nearly $8 billion in economic impact made just last year.”
South Australia has around 18,000 tourism businesses, employing more than 38,900 people across the state, with most being small businesses.
The scheme covers full-time, part-time and casual employees, as well as some visa and migrant conditions. Tourism businesses should not assume they’re not eligible, but should refer to eligibility criteria at treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/jobkeeper.
Businesses or self-employed persons can register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper payment with the Australian Tax Office.
Read the Federal Treasurer’s media release: www.pm.gov.au/media/130-billion-jobkeeper-payment-keep-australians-job