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Post-JobKeeper stimulus with focus on tourism announced

  • March 11 2021
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Post-JobKeeper stimulus with focus on tourism announced

By Cameron Micallef
March 11 2021

Australian travellers will be offered half-price flights following the federal government’s announcement of a $1.2 billion stimulus package to support the domestic tourism sector. 

half-price flights to kickstart tourism

Post-JobKeeper stimulus with focus on tourism announced

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  • March 11 2021
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Australian travellers will be offered half-price flights following the federal government’s announcement of a $1.2 billion stimulus package to support the domestic tourism sector. 

half-price flights to kickstart tourism

The package will offer 800,000 half-priced flights from 1 April with the goal of getting domestic travellers to offset the spending of international visitors.

The half-price ticket program will initially operate to 13 key regions, including the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays and Mackay region (Proserpine and Hamilton Island), the Sunshine Coast, Lasseter and Alice Springs, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie, Broome, Avalon, Merimbula, and Kangaroo Island.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the tourism sector did not want to rely on government support forever, with this economic stimulus package bridging the gap before normal trading resumes. 

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“This is our ticket to recovery – 800,000 half-price airfares to get Australians travelling and supporting tourism operators, businesses, travel agents and airlines who continue to do it tough through COVID-19, while our international borders remain closed,” Mr Morrison said.

The Prime Minister said the package will help take more tourists to Australian hotels and cafes, while seeing Aussies explore their own backyard. 

“That means more jobs and investment for the tourism and aviation sectors as Australia heads towards winning our fight against COVID-19 and the restrictions that have hurt so many businesses,” Mr Morrison said. 

The stimulus package will also include new international aviation support aimed at sustaining more than 8,000 jobs, as well as support for airport screening costs, and a services assistance support program to relieve the cost burden related to training on-the-ground staff at Australian airports.

As part of the government’s support to the struggling sector, the government also announced an extension to, and expansion of, its SME Loan Guarantee Scheme.

The expansion will see the limit of eligible loans rise from $1 million to $5 million under the scheme, as well as a cost split shift, which will see the government guarantee a higher portion of the loan. The shift would see the government’s 50-50 split with banks shift to an 80-20 split. 

Borrowers will be offered a repayment holiday on both principal and interest for up to 24 months, with loan terms increased from five years to 10 years.

“This SME Recovery Scheme is part of the next step in our plan to help small businesses stand on their own two feet as the economy recovers from COVID-19,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said. 

“The expansion and extension of the loans will back businesses that back themselves and will help businesses who continue to do it tough build a bridge to the other side of the crisis and keep their staff employed.”

Despite the latest government package, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) has slammed the government’s withdrawal of JobKeeper, saying thousands of aviation jobs are at risk with the federal government killing wage subsidies that support hurting industries. 

TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said JobKeeper had been a vital lifeline in helping workers pay their bills and support their families, and this is now gone.

“The federal government is ripping away a vital support to the aviation industry at a critical moment. Domestic aviation is poised to make a comeback but it is not there yet. 

“The Australian taxpayer has effectively paid the wages of thousands of aviation workers for almost a year. Stopping that support at the final hurdle makes no sense and amounts to a scandalous waste of hundreds of millions of dollars spent to date,” Mr Kaine concluded.

Post-JobKeeper stimulus with focus on tourism announced
half-price flights to kickstart tourism
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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