NEW FIGURES: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Picture: Gary Ramage
NEW FIGURES: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Picture: Gary Ramage

Hundreds across the region relying on JobKeeper scheme

WHILE the coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted businesses across the region, Emerald was the worst-hit area in the Central Highlands.

New Treasury data reveals there are more workers on JobKeeper wage subsidies in Emerald than anywhere else in the region.

Data shows there are more than 700 people relying on the JobKeeper scheme across the region.

There are about 360 from Emerald and Gindie, with Moranbah the second highest with 81.

Clermont and surrounds have recorded about 74 people on the wage subsidies, followed by about 40 in both Springsure and Barcaldine.

Duaringa and surrounds, with seven people, is the lowest in the region and almost the lowest town in Queensland.

In all of Queensland, Cairns has been the most impacted by coronavirus, with more than 3600 people relying on the scheme, followed by Brisbane's CBD with more than 3000 and about 2900 at Toowoomba.

More than 160,000 Queensland businesses 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.

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.


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