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Qld Whitsundays wants more Jobkeeper money

Queensland’s holiday hotspot is pleading with the federal government to extend Jobkeeper payments to new staff as it attempts to recover from the coronavirus crisis.

Tourism Whitsundays wants an exemption for tourism and hospitality businesses because they have a high turnover of transient staff.

A significant number of workers have left their jobs during the pandemic to return home to family or to take up roles in less affected industries, the body said in a statement on Thursday.

“For businesses looking to rebuild and recommence operations, many are forced to recruit new staff to replace those that have left.”

But new workers are not eligible to receive JobKeeper payments causing the level of support given to the industry to shrink every time a worker moves on.

Over the past four months, a quarter of the tourism and hospitality staff in The Whitsundays have become ineligible to receive JobKeeper.

“This number will continue to increase over the next four months, as many businesses have lost, in some cases, 50 per cent of previously underwritten JobKeeper staff,” the body said.

JobKeeper pays workers $1500 a fortnight, via their employer.

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