Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan has assured the Tropical North Queensland business community that the Government would offer targeted support for those who need it beyond March.
Speaking at the joint TTNQ, Advance Cairns and Cairns Chamber of Commerce Tourism and Trade Luncheon on Monday, Minister Tehan made it clear that the business support would be targeted and temporary.
After speaking with businesses and industry representatives at meetings throughout the day, the Minister said his visit had given him a real sense of how Cairns businesses were being affected.
He understood that assistance was needed to enable the tourism sector to get through the next six to nine months to emerge stronger and launch into a rebound phase.
While he could not give a firm commitment as to what the assistance would look like going forward, the Minister understood that flexibility had been one of the key successes with JobKeeper.
Treasury is currently crunching the data on JobKeeper to determine which regions are impacted, how many businesses are using it and how many employees are still relying on it.
Ultimately Cabinet will decide on the rescue package, and Minister Tehan said further discussions were planned this week about what the targeted support would look like.
He hopes to give a sense of where the Federal Government assistance is heading in the coming weeks.
Minister Tehan also understood that a well-functioning Export Market Development Grant scheme would help the tourism sector.
Speaking at the lunch, Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch pushed for businesses to be eligible for grants in the international markets that they had already succeeded in. He said they would be starting again and would be able to help newer businesses break into those markets.
He also said he wanted to work towards an international student bubble, which he believed would also assist in exporting freight from the region.
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