Australia NSW's dine and discover voucher trial kicks off -here's how to cash in
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The trial phase of the NSW government's $500 million 'dine and discover' program is set to kick off this week after being delayed by Sydney's coronavirus outbreak.
The scheme, which was a major move in the 2020-21 Budget, will give residents across the state four $25 vouchers to spend on food or entertainment to boost the Covid-19 ravaged economy.
The pilot will begin with a small group of customers and businesses in Broken Hill and The Rocks, before being tested in Sydney's CBD, Northern Beaches and Bega Valley from late February.
The statewide roll out will commence in March.
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Customers in the trial sites will be invited to participate by Service NSW, and businesses within those areas can expect patrons if they have registered to take part via the Service NSW website.
To access vouchers, residents will need to register for a MyService NSW account, which can be accessed through the Service NSW phone app, prior to the vouchers becoming available.
Vouchers can be used at any participating CovidSafe venue and need to be redeemed in person, with two allocated for use in hospitality business and two for entertainment or recreation.
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Dining vouchers can only be used from Monday to Thursday while the remaining vouchers can be used any day of the week.
The vouchers cannot be used for retail, tobacco, alcohol, gambling and accommodation or on public holidays, can only be used once, and must be used by June 30 this year.
If the full $25 is not used in one payment the remainder of the money will be forfeited.
The program, designed to encourage customers to spend on food and entertainment, was the major move in November's state budget aimed at kick-starting the state's economy back into gear following months of stifling.
The measure is aimed at bolstering the hardest hit industries, such as hospitality, entertainment, and tourism, which were slapped with restrictions and forced to close during the height of the pandemic.
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Eligible venues include cafes, restaurants, pubs, taverns, bars, clubs, cinemas, museums, galleries, historic sites, zoos, wildlife parks, performing arts operations, recreational activities, amusement parks, and tours.
Around 2235 businesses have reportedly already signed up for the initiative, which was set to be trialed in December but was pushed back as venues were already booked out due to the festive season.
The January start date was subsequently postponed after a fresh virus cluster emerged in Sydney's Northern Beaches days before Christmas.
Despite several set backs, the expiry date of the vouchers has not been extended.
Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said if the program is effective, food and entertainment vouchers could be used in regions hit by future disasters, such as bush fires or droughts.
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'We cannot go back to the global financial crisis days of the misdirected $900 cash handouts,' he told the.
'With the QR framework, you could wake up one morning and have a voucher in your ServiceNSW app that you can only spend in a targeted community'.
The Northern Territory, Victoria, and South Australia have also introduced similar schemes.
In the Top End, residents were offered vouchers up to $200 if they spent $200 of their own money on holidays to regional areas.
Those who use their vouchers for bookings more than 400km from their homes were also able to apply for an additional $200 bonus payment.
The Victorian government is offering vouchers worth $200 to spend in regional areas but they must spend a minimum of $400 on accommodation, tours and attractions to qualify.
In South Australia, residents were given $100 subsidies for CBD hotels and $50 for suburban and regional stays.
Premier Steven Marshall announced a third round of accommodation vouchers after the scheme provided a major boost to the state's economy.
'Across round one and two of the vouchers, we've created more than 60,000 bookings, worth more than $31 million, getting people booking up the CBD and regions, and spending in our restaurants, cafes, bars and experiences around them,' he said.
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'We will now take away any lessons we have learnt from the second round of the Great State Vouchers, talk to the industry and gear up for round three.'
How do I access the program?
How does Dine & Discover NSW work?
Every NSW resident aged 18 and over will be eligible for 4 $25 vouchers worth $100 in total.
The vouchers can be used at participating NSW businesses who are registered as COVID safe.
The Dine & Discover NSW vouchers will be divided into two categories:
How do I apply for the vouchers?
To participate in Dine & Discover NSW, you must have a MyServiceNSW account.
You can download the Service NSW app now and register for a MyServiceNSW account ahead of the vouchers becoming available.
Where can I use my vouchers?
How can my business get involved?
To be eligible for Dine & Discover NSW, your business needs to:
Source: Service NSW
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