End of JobKeeper will have ‘devastating’ impact, MP warns
Thousands of businesses on the Northern Rivers could be forced to close with the end of JobKeeper, federal MP Justine Elliot has warned.
Speaking in parliament on Monday afternoon, she said she had serious concerns with the March 28 deadline looming.
"It will have a devastating economic impact in my region," she said.
"Currently, there are more than 4,200 businesses in my electorate of Richmond that are dependent on JobKeeper, and this is keeping their workers in jobs and keeping their businesses going.
"Many have told me that, when this financial support ends, they will just have to close their businesses."
Ms Elliot said local business owners needed "urgent" support.
"The industries that were hardest hit in my region include those in retail, tourism, hospitality and the arts," she said.
"Many of them were heavily dependent upon international tourism and were immediately impacted when the pandemic hit.
"It just has been devastating for them."
JobKeeper was announced in March 2020 as a subsidy for businesses significantly affected by COVID-19.
The JobKeeper scheme was extended twice between September 28, 2020 until March 28, 2021.