Local Media


March 26, 2020

The Federal Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann, has labelled the Federal Government’s COVID-19 measures as "too little, too late" and said more needed to be done to protect the future of local business and jobs.

Mr Neumann said he was concerned financial relief for businesses was not being delivered quickly enough and it would not be effective at allowing them to retain their workers.

The Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not‑for-profits with employees to try to boost their cash flow.

However Mr Neumann said there was no substantial incentive to protect jobs as the support received by businesses is not nearly enough and is not conditional on keeping workers employed.

"We're talking about assistance that won’t kick in until the staff wage withholding tax has been paid and that's in late April and then in July," Mr Neumann said.

Mr Neumann said the Governments support for workers was also not adequate.

A Coronavirus supplement of $550 a fortnight will be paid to most income support recipients, including those on Jobseeker payments (the old Newstart payments).

“People are losing their jobs now but the supplement won’t reach job seekers until 27 April.”

Mr Neumann said that's not going to be enough.

"The second economic stimulus payment only comes in July and there are a number of people who are not going to get this support.

“There is more to be done, and this support needs to be brought forward and made available immediately," he said.

“The Government needs to introduce genuine wage subsidies for businesses to provide real incentives to keep people in their jobs now.”

Mr Neumann said the COVID-19 outbreak was a very deeply serious and complex situation. “I'm very concerned about how local community life is going to go in the next six months,” he said.

Mr Neumann urged the community to show each other kindness and to respect those working on the frontline.

"Stop hoarding and panic buying," he said.

"I know people are anxious and worried. We need to care for one another.

Mr Neumann’s Brassall electorate office is closed to the public to protect the health of his staff but they were still open for the benefit of the community via phone and email.

"We're here to help," he said.