“Today I wrote to the federal treasurer asking for the introduction of a JobKeeper type payment to assist all within our local region who are carrying the bulk of the economic burden of the New South Wales lockdowns.
“The recent lockdown restrictions imposed on parts of greater Sydney and regional New South Wales have had a devastating impact on sections of the ACT economy, particularly the tourism, hospitality and aviation industries”, Mr Smith said.
“Locally, I have been advised of losses totalling into the millions of dollars, in the local tourism, hospitality and aviation industries. As they have highlighted to me, it is their sectors that have been unfairly carrying the burden locally of the Sydney shutdowns.
“Another important example is the impact of the lockdowns on the National Capital Educational Tourism Project designed specifically for students visiting Canberra’s national institutions. We have 20 purpose focused facilities within Canberra that are currently completely empty with Parliament House not accepting student visits for at least the next month,” said Mr Smith
“My principal concern is centred on the federal government’s hotspot declarations and associated disaster payment policy. Nowhere in that policy does it take into consideration the complexities associated with, for example, the relationship between the economies of the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales, coupled with real economic challenges of the broader Capital Region.
“Let’s not forget that JobKeeper protected people’s jobs and livelihoods”, Mr Smith said.
“I would urge the government to review its current level of economic support, toward a focus on supporting those beyond so called hotspot areas, and in a manner that supports their jobs and their ties to their local community.” Mr Smith said.