JobKeeper Update, grant updates, Reopening Roadmap and Recovery Roadmap. 03 September
On Tuesday this week, Federal Parliament signed off on the extension to the JobKeeper scheme, meaning payments will be made until March 2021. Recipients will begin receiving a lower rate of $1,200 a fortnight at the end of the month, with a further drop to $1,000 a fortnight at the beginning of January.
If you were a part-timer, working less than 20 hours a week prior to JobKeeper being introduced, then your payment will fall to $750 a fortnight from the end of the month, then to $650 a fortnight at the start of next year.
For more information, visit the ATO website.
Also, an important reminder that applications for the Victorian Government’s Business Support Fund – Expansion program close at 11.59pm on 14 September 2020.
The program provides grants of $10,000 for eligible businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, in recognition of the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), and $5000 for other eligible businesses in regional Victoria.
Full program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs) are available on the Business Victoria website.
The Reopening Roadmap
We’ve heard a lot this week about the Premier’s promised roadmaps out of current restrictions for regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne, which will be announced this Sunday.
VTIC has consistently called for Government to engage with industry on the development of any such roadmap to avoid the challenges and revisions that needed to be made as we emerged from the first lockdown back in early June. We learned much from the one-size-fits-all approach that was applied at that time, and the industry was keen to avoid a re-run of this, which generated much confusion and required many instructions to be revisited and reconsidered.
The Premier announced this week that his departments would be engaging with industry associations and peak bodies to ensure industry input was informing the roadmaps that would be introduced. These roundtables are reaching across a broad spectrum of sectors as the responsible departments work through the detail that will be required to populate key elements of these roadmaps.
Since the start of this week, VTIC has been participating in a range of roadmap roundtables to ensure the priorities of all the broad sectors making up our visitor economy are appropriately represented in these forums.
The work that we have been doing with our policy committees over recent weeks and months, along with the surveys, emails and insights you our members have provided to us, puts VTIC in a strong position to prosecute our issues. Whatever the outcome on Sunday, this is going to be a long journey and not all of our industry will be able to reactivate at the same time, which just continues to impede any pathway to recovery.
Our upcoming Insights Series on Wednesday 16 September will be critically important as we step through any reopening. This webinar will provide you with an insight into the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) outbreak management processes and procedures, as well as getting critical crisis communications advice, delivered by Allan Briggs of Crisis Shield, including tips on dealing with the media. This is really a vitally important session as this point in time and I would encourage you to register here to attend.
The Recovery Roadmap
Over this week, VTIC has engaged heavily in the media on the enormity of issues confronting our industry and the dire situation our sector is facing. Not only are we calling for a reopening roadmap, but the industry desperately needs a roadmap to recovery that can provide hope for the future.
VTIC has for many weeks now been calling for two phases of support – the first needs to address this survival phase to help the industry make it to the end of the year, but we then need a significant investment in tourism and events in the budget hand down this year to support our recovery plan over the 4-year forward estimates.
In the submission we made to Government via our Visitor Economy Recovery Taskforce, VTIC is calling for $1.3 billion over four years to support both demand and supply initiatives that will set us on a pathway out of the devastation we’ve seen in 2020.
We need major investment in our demand driving bodies, that have been marginalised over too many years by a lack of long-term funding, so they can be effective at rebuilding the profile for Victoria and driving the conversion we desperately need.
Importantly, our submission calls for extensive investment in game-changing infrastructure that can drive visitation back to our state; creation of a product innovation fund to assist the industry in creating and delivering compelling experiences across our state; investment in our events sector to see them reanimate and prosper; and investment in building the capability of industry and arming them with valuable data and insights to leverage changes in consumer preferences that will undoubtedly evolve from this crisis.
You can read the full submission here.
We are a $32 billion industry that has been the flag-bearer for Victoria’s global persona. Victoria’s vibrant event calendar fuelled the reinvention of our brand over two decades ago and our incredible tourism industry has been the envy of every state, who have emulated our strategy over time.
This crisis has rocked us to our core, but it can’t destroy us…and we need this investment in our sector to ensure that our industry is here to do the heavy lifting to revitalise our state and return us to our leadership position.
Visit vtic.com.au/coronavirus for key information available including support and funding, and information specific to the tourism industryand information specific to the tourism industry