About this package
The Queensland Government has considered advice from industry about how businesses have been impacted since COVID-19 (coronavirus) struck in January 2020.
An initial Immediate Industry Recovery Package, valued at $27.25 million, will assist local government, business and industry with resilience and recovery strategies to deal with and mitigate impacts of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The package includes targeted financial support and advice; promotes Queensland locally and abroad through marketing and media activities; and provides counselling and support to businesses and students.
Inbound Tour Operator Registration- As part of this, the renewal fees for Queensland registered inbound tour operators which fall due between 1 February 2020 and 31 July 2020 will be waived for 12 months, with refunds backdated to 1 February 2020. Value of $773.10 and total value to Queensland of $24,740.
Commercial tourism operator support - Tourism operators in Queensland must currently pay daily site fees based on visitor numbers if they conduct business in a national park, conservation park, recreation area or state forest under a commercial activity agreement or permit.
For activities conducted between 1 February 2020 and 31 July 2020, the Department of Environment and Science will not charge these daily fees as part of the Immediate Industry Recovery Package. Not charging fees during this period is intended to boost cashflow for operators and help provide some relief from lower visitor numbers during the impacts of the coronavirus on the state’s tourism industry.
The department will be working directly with tourism operators that have a commercial activity agreement or permit on Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service-managed areas to provide information and further detail about this support and how it can be accessed.
This fee relief has a total value to Queensland of $2,578,788 and will apply to any activities you conduct between 1 February 2020 and 31 July 2020 on:
• protected areas (such as national park or conservation park) – ($2.08 per person per day)
•State Forest, forest reserve or timber reserve ($2.08-$3.70 per person per day) and
• recreation areas ($2.08-$8.35 per person per day)
You will still need to:
•pay annual permit fees
•pay any other annual payments
•pay application fees (for renewals or new authorities)
•pay ranger supervision fees, or other supervision fees associated with your agreement
•submit returns on passenger numbers but will not be invoiced.
•Commercial tour operators visiting protected areas across Queensland.
•All tourism businesses that hold a commercial activity agreement or permit and currently pay this fee.
Rebate on Marina Charges and Passenger Levies – Ports North will provide a 100% fee rebate for retail tenants and operators at Cairns Marina and Green Island jetty, and charges price freeze to lower operating costs for commercial marina operators. This initiative is valued at over $3 million.
•Marine tourism industry operators.
•Operators using the Cairns Marlin Marina.
•Land-side retail/food and beverage businesses.
•Tourism operators who access Green Island.
Liquor Licenses - From 1 February to 31 July 2020, liquor licensees will benefit from having fees waived for applications to change trading hours (value of $213.70) and temporarily or permanently change a licensed area (value between $71.65-$94.15), representing a total value of $95,828 to the state.
•All liquor licensees choosing to amend trading hours or their licensed area, who have paid the application fee since 1 February 2020 or who choose to make an application of this nature.
Tourism lease and licence holder assistance - The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy is providing a moratorium on tourism leaseholders and licences for tourism purposes, with the initiative valued at $64,300 to the state.
If you hold a lease or licence for tourism purposes and receive rental invoices quarterly, you can apply for a land rent deferral until 1 January 2021.
•All holders of a tourism lease in Queensland who pay rent to the State Government.
•Existing tourism leaseholders who can demonstrate to the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy that they are adversely affected by economic conditions associated by the coronavirus. Invoices have already been sent out for Q1 2020.
•The due date for these invoices (1 March 2020) will be adjusted to 01 January 2021, on approval, for eligible leaseholders.
•Leaseholders will obtain a refund if they have already paid their Q1 2020 rent.
•The due date for payment of rental invoices for Q2 2020, which is payable by 01 June 2020, will be adjusted to 01 January 2021.
Examples of information that can be provided include:
•a decline in occupancy rates or tourism ticket sales
• reduced patronage
•booking cancellations relating to the operation of the tourism lease.
The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy will contact all existing tourism lease holders to advise of the rent deferral opportunity and the process for applying, and industry can access the initiative immediately.
Worker Transition Scheme and rapid response - The Worker Transition Scheme and rapid response provides a suite of information and support services to workers who may find themselves without work as a result of business closures or redundancy programs.
The department leads the Queensland Government’s response, coordinating rapid response throughout Queensland. We provide assistance under the scheme, including:
•engaging with administrators to offer worker transition scheme assistance
•coordinating assistance from government departments
•monitoring progress on payment of all entitlements
•where possible, assisting retrenched workers on where they might find new employment and advising of government training schemes if new skills are required for their next job
•assisting businesses affected by changes in the supply chain.