New tourism support measures for ACT businesses

Dominic Giannini25 July 2021
Chief Minister and Tourism Minister Andrew Barr

Chief Minister and Tourism Minister Andrew Barr has announced new support measures for the ACT tourism industry. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

Water and sewerage rebates of up to $75,000 for accommodation providers and $15,000 for small private tourism companies will be offered by the ACT Government under new tourism support measures.

Businesses will be able to claim the rebates for the first two quarters of 2021-22, with around 90 accommodation providers and up to 20 tourism venues able to apply for the full amount.

An average-sized hotel or motel will receive around $30,000 through the rebate. But tourism businesses must be able to demonstrate a 30 per cent loss of revenue in July 2021 compared to April 2021 to be eligible.

Small tourism companies and boutique accommodation services that are likely to receive less than $15,000 from the rebate will be contacted to apply for a COVID recovery payment of up to $15,000 to assist with a range of business expenses.

The 30 per cent threshold will also apply to the recovery payments.

Two tourism funding programs are being brought forward under the suite of measures, with the Tourism Cooperative Marketing Fund, which offers $500,000 in funding, and the $750,000 COVID-Safe Tourism Co-Investment Program due to open as soon as travel restrictions are eased.

Up to 40 local hire car and charter bus operators can also apply to have their registration fees waived for a further six months until 30 March 2022.

Chief Minister and Tourism Minister Andrew Barr said the continuation of the Sydney lockdown – which has been extended for another fortnight until at least 30 July – will continue to impact businesses in the ACT.

“The tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit since the pandemic began,” he said.

“While the local sector had been recovering, the recent developments in Sydney have had a significant financial impact – particularly for accommodation providers and small tourism operators.”

However, income support payments for people subject to lockdown measures or stay at home requirements in the ACT after being in a declared hotspot remain unavailable.

People in Commonwealth-declared hotspots will have income payments increased to $600 a week if more than 20 hours of work has been lost, and $375 if between eight and 20 hours, or one day of work a week, is lost.

The NSW Government will provide support to people outside the Commonwealth hotspot area to people who have lost income due to the hotspot being declared across Greater Sydney.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said Mr Barr remained in discussions with the Prime Minister and Treasurer about how support payments worked for people who do not live in a hotspot zone but are affected by its impact are treated.

Mr Barr previously said that it should not matter where someone undergoes their isolation or lockdown requirements.

“Where you are forced to stay at home and undertake your isolation should not be the factor, it should be that you were in an area that has been declared a hotspot,” he said.

For further information on COVID-19 support measures in the ACT, visit COVID-19 economic support for business.

Original Article published by Dominic Giannini on The RiotACT.

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