‘We don’t need handouts we need borders open’
GOLD Coast-based Cabinet Ministers have poured cold water on tourism industry lobby groups calling for JobKeeper to be extended beyond early next year.
The Tourism and Transport Forum has called for the JobKeeper program to be extended for another year, citing the industry's struggles as a result of the COVID-19 downturn.
Human Services Minister Stuart Robert pointed towards next month's federal budget for answers about the popular wage subsidy scheme.
"We're two weeks away from the budget so let's let the budget do the speaking of where we go with JobKeeper," he said.
Mr Robert took a shot at the Queensland Government calling the NSW border closure "diabolical" for business.
"We need the economy open," he said.
"We don't need governments doing handouts. We need borders open, we need the economy open. We need a COVID safe back to normal (plan) as much as possible. That is what is going to generate economic activity."
Science Minister Karen Andrews said the Government's focus needs to be on job creation together with extending visitor stays by offering new experiences.
"We are very keen to make sure businesses remain open and that is why we are focusing on getting jobs created, jobs for the future, and that is what this package is all about," she said.
"So the $10 million will go to create the likes of more infrastructure, more experiences for people here on the Gold Coast and that is going to create jobs."
Moncrieff MP Angie Bell said struggling tourism businesses need to "hang in there" until the borders reopen.
"There are 9700 businesses in Moncrieff … on JobKeeper and of course that will begin to step down now but those businesses that need that support will get that support," she said.
"But I would encourage them to lift their heads and look forward and try to hang in there and hopefully over time the Victorian market will be opened up and certainly (the) NSW market is the one we need here.
"We need our borders open here. We need consistency across the country for tourism to bounce back."
Originally published as 'We don't need handouts we need borders open'