QTIC has been actively engaged with the state government to identify practical, immediate measures that could ease the cash-flow stress for businesses struggling under the impact of the current crisis. We gratefully acknowledge the state government’s prompt action which follows the announcement last week of a $27 million industry support package. Payroll tax payments are a significant burden on many businesses and this offer will make it that little bit easier for employers to hold on to staff during this difficult time. It is the kind of support needed to ensure businesses can stay strong now and be ready for any opportunity that can drive the recovery.
Meanwhile, we are still waiting for the Commonwealth Government to add to the earlier bushfire support package in response to this expanding current crisis. The ATO has put in place some tax deferral provisions
for business affected by the bushfires, including in Queensland. QTIC will maintain its advocacy to the federal government, including in Canberra this week, to consider additional tax and employment support measures that could help the industry. It will ultimately be more cost-effective for governments to stand with businesses now and keep them intact, rather than dealing with the cost of unemployment and further damage to consumer confidence.
We wait with cautious optimism for positive signs out of the domestic market, supported by concerted marketing efforts from Tourism and Events Queensland, RTOs and industry. Value-for-money domestic travel packages and the approaching Easter holidays should bring some good news for operators.
At the end of the week we will be celebrating the Australian Tourism Awards in Canberra and while some of us may not be in the mood to celebrate, it is important not to lose sight of all that’s great about our industry. We will certainly be cheering the outstanding Queensland businesses representing our state. Quality and professionalism shown by those operators matters at any time – perhaps most when the going gets tough.