Local Federal Labor MPs are calling on the Morrison Government to extend support for workers, and businesses in our tourism sector. With the shutdown in international travel these have been hit the hardest by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic with little sign of relief on the horizon.

Business owners across the Illawarra, Southern Highlands and South Coast are dreading the 28th of March when JobKeeper ends. This has the potential to affect thousands of local jobs.

Businesses struggling to stay afloat will have to make difficult decisions which may result in job losses and even closures of local businesses.

The tourism industry in the Illawarra, Southern Highlands, and South Coast have been hit by bushfires and now COVID. The benefits from tourism flow on to every other sector as well. Numbers are down as much as 60% on previous years.

Unemployment and youth unemployment in the Illawarra is already higher than the national rate at 6.8% and 14.9% respectively. Without further Government support for businesses, it’s expected that these rates will only increase. 

Member for Whitlam Stephen Jones said “It’s clear that further support is needed. The Government needs to act to prevent our regions from suffering with significant job losses.”

Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird said, “The recovery for certain industries such as tourism is going to be long and will require ongoing support from the Government beyond March 2021.”

Member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips said “Local businesses are struggling and the Government is not taking these concerns seriously – we need targeted support now.”

Targeted support past the 28th of March is essential.

With international tourism unlikely for the next nine to twelve months, and domestic tourism numbers down its critical that the Government acts now.