Following similar initiatives by Aussie states, the Tasmanian government is the latest to announce a support package, which includes a series of measures to assist businesses and maintain jobs.
The government is providing $20 million for the provision of interest-free loans to businesses in the hospitality, tourism, seafood and exports sectors that have a turnover of less than $5 million.
It is waiving payroll tax for the last four months of this financial year for hospitality, tourism and seafood industry businesses, saving businesses around $7 million.
Other small to medium businesses that may be affected by the coronavirus are also being encouraged to apply to have their payroll tax payments waived from March to June 2020.
The Tasmanian government has also reduced the normal terms of trade for payments by government agencies from 30 days to 14 days, and has directed $2.1 million for one-off $5,000 grants for businesses that hire an apprentice or trainee, complementing the federal government’s apprenticeship package.
Aid is also being made available to local governments, with $50 million in interest-free loans offered to upgrade and improve local tourist facilities around the state such as rest areas, rest and changerooms, toilets and visitor centres.
Cash to those that need to self-isolate
Besides the government’s latest announcement, Premier Peter Gutwein said in a ministerial statement to the House of Assembly on Tuesday that one-off emergency relief payments will be made to those who self-isolate, totalling $250 for individuals and $1,000 for families.
The government is also offering grants of $1 million to mental health organisations as well as allocating another $1 million to emergency accommodation support for individuals and families who have been placed on home quarantine but who are unable to return to their regular place of residence.
Tasmania’s aid announcement comes after Western Australia, NSW and Queensland announced their own packages on Tuesday.
The federal government is also being urged to rethink its approach and offer further help to businesses and sole traders, after the Prime Minister indicated that a second package could be in the works.