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Australia Ongoing travel restrictions put 32,000 tourism businesses at risk of failing, as end of JobKeeper looms

16:30  22 january  2021
16:30  22 january  2021 Source:   smartcompany.com.au

A company gave back $1.7 million in JobKeeper payments after a spike in sales – but the treasurer says other businesses don't need to do the same

  A company gave back $1.7 million in JobKeeper payments after a spike in sales – but the treasurer says other businesses don't need to do the same Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says companies which recorded strong profits over the last financial year won't be required to pay back the JobKeeper subsidy payments they may have accrued. The statement comes after Super Retail Group, which operates Rebel Sports and SuperCheap Auto, today volunteered to pay back $1.7 million in taxpayer subsidies following an extraordinary spike in sales. Successful companies which received JobKeeper support "have no legal obligation to repay that JobKeeper amount," Frydenberg said. Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Ongoing travel restrictions put 32 , 000 tourism businesses at risk of failing , as end of JobKeeper looms . The tourism industry is calling for support from the federal government, as new research shows 32 , 000 operators could fail this year.

Ongoing travel restrictions put 32 , 000 tourism businesses at risk of failing , as end of JobKeeper looms . The tourism industry is calling for support from the federal government, as new research shows 32 , 000 operators could fail this year.

The embattled tourism industry is calling for targeted support from the federal government, as new research shows one-in-five tourism operators could fail this year due to ongoing travel restrictions.

a large body of water with a city in the background: Sydney-Opera-House © Provided by Smart Company Sydney-Opera-House

New research by peak industry body Tourism and Transport Forum found 32,000 tourism businesses risk failing this year due to ongoing coronavirus travel restrictions, The Australian Financial Review reports.

Small business advocates and tourism operators have been pushing for extra support for the $50 billion industry, such as progressive loans and temporary wage assistance, after JobKeeper winds down in March.

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The tourism sector argued coronavirus restrictions had hit it earlier and harder than other industries. Travel restrictions and demands for social isolation at the height of the outbreak crippled tourism , transport and hospitality businesses across the country. The TTF warned without additional support "It's going to take a lot of work to bring that up to scratch, and I can't see that happening." Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Federal Government was due to review the JobKeeper program at the end of June. "We recognise that some sectors like tourism will face ongoing challenges, particularly if

The tourism sector estimates 400, 000 jobs might go when JobKeeper ends , with the construction industry tipping similar job losses. Tourism operators say they will struggle to survive unless government support is extended past the end of September. The building sector is calling for a billion The business is one of the largest employers in the tourism centre, with 130 staff. Normally, they would be loading tourists to see trees and waterfalls from high above the rainforest. Instead they are among 3 million Australians receiving the JobKeeper wage subsidy from the Federal Government.

Anthea Hammon, board member at Sydney’s iconic Bridge Climb and director of Scenic World in the Blue Mountains, told SmartCompany last Wednesday that private attraction businesses have so far missed out on any targeted support from the federal government.

“We’re the end chain of the tourism supply chain,” Hammon said.

“So they’ve helped travel agents, they’ve helped aviation, they’ve helped zoos and aquariums, but attractions and experiences have been left with very little support.”

Hammon said both Bridge Climb and Scenic World are still experiencing a 75% loss of revenue compared to pre-pandemic years.

“Without a recovery in international tourism, the domestic market is just not big enough to make up the slack,” Hammon said.

Where can I travel to? Here are the current coronavirus border restrictions around Australia

  Where can I travel to? Here are the current coronavirus border restrictions around Australia With coronavirus clusters in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales seemingly under control, different states and territories have begun easing their coronavirus border restrictions. Here are the various restrictions as they stand.Here are the various restrictions as they stand:

) Businesses could self-report to receive JobKeeper . Steven Hamilton is a tax economist and visiting fellow at the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute at the Australian National University. He said there will be a way in which the Government scales back the payment for other firms before September. Dr Hamilton suggests one way to do that would be to put the onus on businesses to self-report to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) at the end of every month how much money they made in the past fortnight, and how much money they expect to make in the next month.

Ignores the ECDC opinion that travel restrictions —and in particular quarantines—are of “questionable effectiveness” when community transmission is on - going – which is currently the case across most of Europe. Does not create a sufficient window of certainty for travellers , as Member States have only ACI EUROPE, IATA and A4E support the Testing Protocol initiative, which presents an opportunity to address the risk of importation of cases from high- risk areas to low- risk areas far more effectively than quarantine, and end the disastrous patchwork of responses between individual Member States.

In recognising the pressure facing tourism operators, some state governments have offered targeted support to encourage interstate travel.

Victoria budgeted $28 million for a Regional Tourism Voucher Scheme, for example, which offers $200 vouchers to any resident who can prove they have already spent $400 on accommodation or attractions in regional Victoria.

Council of Small Business Organisations Australia chief executive Peter Strong says unlike other industries, tourism is not yet able to see when it will recover because of there is no definitive date as to when international travel will pick up.

“It’s quite a huge impact,” Strong tells SmartCompany.

Strong expects the tourism industry will bear the brunt of the end of JobKeeper on March 31, however, he does say there will likely be targeted support from the federal government.

“Where and how will be interesting … I expect something will come out at least in the budget, if not beforehand,” he says.

The post Ongoing travel restrictions put 32,000 tourism businesses at risk of failing, as end of JobKeeper looms appeared first on SmartCompany.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg rules out extension of JobKeeper beyond March .
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg rules out the possibility of a JobKeeper extension beyond the end of March. "It was always a temporary program," he told the ABC Insiders' David Speers."More than $80 billion is already out the door, and it's helped to support more than 3.5 million Australians."Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last week called on the Federal Government to extend the JobKeeper payment for struggling industries like tourism."I saw Annastacia Palaszczuk cheekily, to put it lightly, suggest that we extend JobKeeper," Mr Frydenberg said on Sunday's Insiders program.

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