The WA Government’s Industry Support Package, announced today, is welcome relief for those industries hit hard by the decision to delay the reopening of WA’s borders. It follows CCIWA’s efforts to highlight the impacts on local businesses. According to our surveys, losses have often ranged from hundreds of thousands of dollars to multimillion dollar losses.
WA’s international education, aviation, tourism and events sectors have been some of the most severely impacted by COVID restrictions. Today’s package provides much-needed funds, between $10,000 to $100,000, to offset these losses.
We note and welcome the Premier’s remarks that his Government has further measures planned, and will continue to engage and listen to industry.
There remain many sectors in which businesses have invested, planned their operations, and made commercial decisions while relying on the commitment to February 5, which aren’t included in this program. They have lost contracts, customers and capital as a result. CCIWA will continue to work with Government to ensure all impacted businesses can qualify for compensation. Work will also be required to repair WA’s international reputation as a tourism, education and investment destination.
The State Government will also need to provide financial support to aid businesses during the immediate transition as Omicron case numbers rise in WA. We know that there will be immediate term impacts to cash flow, profitability and worker availability. The WA Government is in a strong financial position to alleviate some of these impacts to ensure businesses and workers are protected.
The package offers respite in a time of ongoing uncertainty, and shows the State Government has listened to CCIWA and the business community.
It is also critical to ensure businesses across all sectors of the WA economy can shift to operating on their own steam. CCIWA looks forward to the State Government announcing 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.