Emergency measures to support Queenslanders, the business community and the industries which will deliver the State back to economic prosperity have been passed by Parliament.
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the Appropriation (COVID-19) Bill 2020 provides additional funding of more than $4 billion over two years to protect Queensland during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The COVID-19 crisis is causing unprecedented economic and fiscal challenges all over the world,” Ms Trad said.
“It is affecting governments, industry, business, households and individuals.
“To protect jobs and safeguard our economy, the Palaszczuk Government has announced a $4 billion economic relief package, the biggest stimulus package assembled by any State or territory.
“In addition to this, the Government is providing assistance to support businesses, industry, and the arts sector.
“The Government is also delivering housing services to vulnerable Queenslanders to prevent homelessness.”
Our focus is to:
- Protect traditionally strong industries that are continuing to operate
- Preserve industries that have been shut down so they can bounce back
- Invest in public services to support the immediate needs of the community
- Plan now for our economic recovery
Ms Trad said the Bill provides additional appropriation for expenditure on COVID-19 related relief measures that have been announced previously by the Government.
These economic relief measures include:
- $1.2 billion to expand fever clinics, emergency department capacity, acute care services and regional aeromedical services for remote communities
- $300 million in cost-of-living relief for households, including a $200 credit for all 2.1 million households to offset the cost of water and electricity
- $2.5 billion for business including payroll tax relief, relief for businesses renting government premises, a worker displacement program to help unemployed people get jobs in sectors facing shortages, electricity bill rebates for all Queensland small and medium sized businesses that consume less than 100,000 kilowatt hours, liquor licensing fee waiver, and assistance to support large businesses to scale up when economic activity improves.
In addition, the Government is also providing:
- A $500 million Jobs Support Loan facility, interest free for the first 12 months, to support businesses to keep Queenslanders in work, with loans of up to $250,000
- $400 million in land tax relief for property owners, that must be passed on to tenants
- An initial $27.25 million package to assist local government, business and industry with resilience and recovery strategies, targeted financial support and counselling
- A $24.7 million housing and homelessness plan to deliver accommodation for vulnerable Queenslanders needing to self-isolate, funding for homelessness providers, and enhancements to the Home Assist Secure program.
“This Bill provides the Government with the supply certainty needed to ensure that funding is available to support Queenslanders through the COVID-19 crisis,” Ms Trad said.
“It ensures that we can support our most vulnerable through this difficult time and help us prepare for the future and assist with recovery following COVID-19.”