The Palaszczuk Government has just announced that it will deliver a $47.75 million Tourism and Hospitality Sector COVID-19 Lockdown Support Package to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns in Queensland and other states.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the additional business support was part of the continued delivery of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery from the global pandemic and addressed the twin burden posed by international and domestic border closures as well as sharp lockdowns to contain COVID.
“From the south-east last week to the Far North right now, Queenslanders experiencing lockdowns are doing an incredible job to keep us all safe,” the Premier said.
“My Government is responding to the impact this is having on businesses across the state, particularly those in the tourism and hospitality sectors.
“We’ve been working closely with all industries throughout the pandemic and we’re now providing additional assistance for eligible businesses on top of the $5,000 COVID-19 Business Support Grants we’ve already announced.
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,” the Treasurer said.
“The new $47.75 million tourism and hospitality support package delivers a range of measures including:
- a six-month deferral of payroll tax payments for eligible tourism and hospitality businesses across the state impacted by current lockdowns. Payroll tax liabilities to be paid in August can be deferred for a period of six months. Eligible business who have already made their payroll tax payments in August will be able to defer their next monthly payroll tax liability for six months;
- waiving, refunding or deferring a range of fees and charges for eligible tourism and hospitality businesses, including 12-month fee waivers for tourism businesses operating in a national park, conservation park, recreation area or state forest, including whale watching operations; and
- liquor licensing fee waivers and refunds.
“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.
The Treasurer also announced a $20 million Queensland COVID-19 Cleaning Rebate to provide appropriate 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,” the Treasurer 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 Treasurer said the Tourism and Hospitality Sector COVID-19 Lockdown Support Package also includes:
- 12-month deferral of state lease fees for eligible tourism operators for the period between 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022
- 12-month fee waivers or refunds of inbound tour operator fees. This support is available for fee renewals up to 30 June 2022
- a second round of the COVID-19 Marine Tourism Rebate in for the 2021-22 financial year to offset berthing fees for marine tourism vessels at privately owned or privately operated marinas in eligible Local Government Areas.
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the new support measures were in response to industry feedback.
“I want to thank the Premier and Treasurer for their speed in building a targeted package to help get Queensland’s tourism and events industry back on its feet,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Throughout the lockdowns, I’ve been in regular contact with industry leaders and Regional Tourism Organisations and know operators are really hurting.
“We know the lack of any sort of JobKeeper-style assistance from the Federal Government has brought Queensland’s Tourism and Events industry to its most desperate point since the pandemic.
“The Palaszczuk Government will always back Queensland tourism operators to recover and rebuild better for the future.
“Once the borders can safety reopen, Tourism and Events Queensland will also be Good to Go with a bold marketing campaign and fresh holiday packages to boost confidence, and bring holidaymakers back for a great visitor experience.”