$77m to compensate businesses for WA border reopening delay

The State Government’s announcement today of a $77 million business support package is welcome relief for industries hit hardest by WA’s border reopening delay, says CCIWA CEO Chris Rodwell.

The package, which includes nine support programs for the international education, tourism, aviation and events sectors, follows CCIWA’s efforts to highlight the impacts on local businesses — ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to multimillion-dollar losses, according to our surveys.

The Safe Transition Industry Support Package includes:

 

International Education support:

  • $6m Industry Support Program — grants of $50,000 and $100,000, respectively, to assist eligible small and medium-sized education providers impacted by closed international borders;
  • $8m Student Quarantine Support Program — $2000 payments available to assist international students with quarantine-related costs for study in Semester 1, 2022:
  • $2m University Services for Students Support Program — providing a supplementary $500 payment to universities for support services for affected students.

Tourism support:

  • $20m Tourism Support Program comprising $10,000 for sole traders and $20,000 to employing businesses to offset expenses incurred in preparing for the original February 5 reopening date; or $15m Tourism Deposit Refund Program to provide assistance of up to $50,000 to compensate for refunded deposits from cancelled bookings;
  • $10m boost to the existing Aviation Recovery Fund to secure flights into WA; and
  • $3m Travel Agent Support Fund offering grants of up to $10,000 for eligible home-based businesses and $20,000 for eligible brick-and-mortar businesses.

Events support:

  • $10m extension and expansion of the Getting the Show Back on the Road Program  to cover up to 75 per cent of lost ticket sales where a State Government mandate directly requires an event to be cancelled; self-cancelled events linked to the border delay decision; and eligible substantially scaled back events that proceed; and
  • $3m Event Suppliers Support Program offering $10,000 grants for sole traders, $20,000 for small businesses and $50,000 for large businesses with pre-COVID annual turnover of more than $1m.

Broome, Western Australia.

“The nine programs announced today are designed to support the cash flow of businesses and partially offset some of the additional costs or lost revenues in these sectors,” said Premier Mark McGowan.

 

“We will continue to consider ways that we can assist Western Australian businesses and households as we make this transition.”

CCIIWA’s Rodwell said the package was welcome relief for industries hardest hit by the decision to delay the reopening of WA’s borders.

However, he noted “there remain many sectors in which businesses have invested, planned their operations, and made commercial decisions while relying on the commitment to February 5, who aren’t included in this program.”

“The State Government will need to be prepared to provide financial support to aid businesses during the immediate transition to the presence of Omicron in WA, when impacts on cash flow, profitability and worker availability are expected,” he said.

“Greater certainty should also be provided to businesses with a new date to ease our border restrictions, which is the only sustainable, long-term solution to relieve chronic worker shortages, supply chain delays and higher costs.”

 

For general advice on your individual situation call CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or via advice@cciwa.com. 

For legal advice specific to your situation, contact our team of Workplace Relations lawyers on (08) 9365 7746 or via BusinessLawWA@cciwa.com. 

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