New support for tourism and aviation will save jobs and keep businesses going until they can ramp back up again, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“This is a job saving package and a huge boost for some of the hardest hit regions.
“Sectors like tourism and aviation have been smashed by the pandemic but we’ll need to start creating new jobs quickly once restrictions are eased.
“Australians now have a chance to visit the regions, spend with local operators and save jobs.
“To make sure this package works as intended it is more crucial than ever for state leaders to end knee-jerk borders closures that destroy confidence and make it impossible to plan. Over 52 per cent of Australians say they won’t travel, not because of fear of the virus, but because they fear snap border closures.
“Direct support for airlines along with subsidised airfares will keep this critical sector afloat and ready to rebound.
“An extended loan scheme on top of already announced measures will boost access to affordable credit and provide much needed certainty to many small businesses.
“It is absolutely right for the government to take a responsible approach and phase out JobKeeper with a package that continues to support the jobs most at risk.
“As more Australians are vaccinated, we can also build confidence by unwinding the confusing patchwork of restrictions across the country in line with the reduced risk.
“The government is helping soften the blow of the worst of the pandemic for the hardest hit sectors, now it’s time for the private sector to take over the heavy lifting.
“To do this we have to drive new investment across the country with the right incentives, by making it easier to grow, invest and create new jobs.
“This package will help Australia emerge stronger from the pandemic if we take a risk based approach to re-opening the economy alongside the vaccine roll-out and end unnecessary stop-start border closures.”