Revealed: Suburbs most reliant on JobKeeper

THE coronavirus pandemic has dealt a crippling economic blow to Cairns, with the tourist mecca becoming the worst-hit area in Queensland.

Exclusive new Treasury data reveals there are more workers on JobKeeper wage subsidies in Cairns than anywhere else in Queensland - and it is one of the hardest-hit areas in the country.

The Brisbane CBD has the next highest number of JobKeeper recipients, followed by Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.

In fact six of the 10 areas with the most businesses signing up to JobKeeper are on the Gold Coast tourist strip.

 

 

The devastating impact coronavirus has had on the tourism sector, laid bare by the data broken down by postcode, will put huge pressure on the Federal Government as it reviews the JobKeeper payment in the lead up to its September end date.

The review into the wage subsidy is due on July 23, but the delaying of the June budget update until after it is released has sparked speculation that there could be a limited extension of the scheme or a tourism-specific recovery package.

There are more than 3600 Cairns businesses which have signed up to the scheme, 500 more than the Brisbane CBD.

 

The Cairns postcode has the fifth highest number of subscribers in the country, behind only the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs, as well as parts of western Sydney and the working-class Melbourne suburb of Hoppers Crossing.

There have been more than 160,000 Queensland businesses who have signed up to the scheme, designed to keep staff members on the payroll during the pandemic lockdown. There are 844,000 businesses nationwide on the scheme, with Treasury estimating it will cover 3.5 million Australians.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the JobKeeper payment was an "economic lifeline" to millions of workers.

"Treasury estimate that in the absence of the $70 billion JobKeeper payment the unemployment rate would be five percentage points higher," he said.

With the review coming up, Mr Frydenberg said the government would "do what it takes" for the country to bounce back.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the unemployment rate would be 5 per cent higher without JobKeeper. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the unemployment rate would be 5 per cent higher without JobKeeper. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Surfers Paradise, Southport, Nerang, Ashmore-Arundel-Molendinar, Burleigh Heads and Broadbeach have all had between 2000 and 3000 businesses apply for JobKeeper. Toowoomba and Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast are also in the top 10 postcodes in Queensland.

The JobKeeper payment was introduced in March at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia.

Eligible employers and sole traders can apply to receive $1500 per employee per fortnight, paid by the Australian Taxation Office, to keep workers on the payroll.

The scheme was intended to run until September 27, but is currently under review.

Labor has been critical of the scheme for not covering arts and university sectors.

Originally published as Revealed: Suburbs most reliant on JobKeeper



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