Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has called on the Federal Government to extend JobKeeper beyond March for tourism operators in the state’s hard hit Far North.
Palaszczuk made the plea yesterday on a visit to Cairns to meet tourism operators from the region.
“Tourism operators in the Far North have done it extremely tough over the last 18 months,” Palaszczuk said.
“Over the last 12 months, we’ve worked closely with operators to deliver millions of dollars’ worth of support for the local tourism sector.”
Palaszczuk said she knows the tourism industry “is hurting” and called on the Federal Government to extend Jobkeeper for those industries hardest hit.
“I honestly think there is a case to be made to the federal government that perhaps (Prime Minister) Scott Morrison could look at those industries that are doing it tough and maybe JobKeeper does need to be extended for those industries,” she told the Cairns Post.
“What we are asking for is a helping hand during this hour of need.
“There’s about 10,000 businesses in the Tropical North that are on JobKeeper at the moment, and that’s going to have a huge impact on employment, especially when JobKeeper ends.”
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the local economy relies on a strong tourism industry.
“I have been in the tourism industry for 35 years and I remember when Scott Morrison was cutting his teeth in a marketing role at Tourism Australia – he came up with the campaign ‘where the bloody hell are ya’,” Healy told the Cairns Post.
“My question to (Federal MP for Leichhardt) Warren Entsch and to Scott Morrison, at a time of great need, is where the bloody hell are ya.”