Over 110,000 businesses rush to sign up for the ‘job keeper’ payment

Australian businesses have wasted no time signing up to the federal government’s new stimulus measures.

It’s understood over 110,000 businesses have signed up since the announcement of the $130 billion plan yesterday afternoon.

The unprecedented measures mean employers will receive $1500 per fortnight for each employee they’re able to keep on.

It’ll apply to full and part time workers, as well as sole traders and casuals who’ve been on the books for 12 months or more.

New Zealanders on temporary working visas are also included.

Related article: PM announces $1500 a fortnight “job keeper” payment

Gold Coast Decides 2020

GC ELECTION | Latest division updates and vote count

Counting will continue on Monday following council elections on the weekend.

There was record low voter turnout in some divisions on election day with thousands of people voting early and many others boycotting polling booths over coronavirus fears.

Despite a low vote count in most divisions so far, we’re starting to see some clear frontrunners, while Donna Gates has already claimed victory in Division 3.

Other divisions like 4 and 10 are on a knife-edge and it could be some days before we have a final result.

Scroll below for the latest updates and vote counts for each division.


Tom Tate claimed victory on Sunday afternoon, winning a third term in the city’s top job.

With 35.32 per cent of the vote now counted, Mr Tate has 56.39 per cent of the vote.

His nearest rival Mona Hecke is sitting on 22.59 per cent.

“Today’s not the day to celebrate, today’s the day to get ready and work hard for the city,” Mr Tate said.

“It is a tough time for everyone and this council coming in, I will put this forward to the newly elected councillors.

“We have to work together as a team and put the city first.”

Read more: Tom Tate claims victory after securing third term as Gold Coast Mayor

Vote count at 10pm Sunday:

Virginia Freebody – 8400 (6.37%)

Mona Hecke – 29,304 (22.21%)

Kris Bourbon – 4768 (3.61%)

Gary Pead – 3619 (2.74%)

Brett Lambert – 8666 (6.57%)

Derek Rosborough – 1162 (0.88%)

Suphakan Somsriruen – 1367 (1.04%)

Tom Tate – 74,650 (56.58%)

Informal Votes – 10,599 (7.44%)

Votes counted – 142,535 (36.74%)

Division 1 

Mark Hammel maintains a strong lead in Division 1 and is in line to be one of four new councillors.

Just over 23 per cent of the vote has been counted with Mr Hammel commanding just over 43 per cent of that.

He’s more than 760 votes ahead of Renee Clarke.

Vote count at 10pm Sunday:

Alec Pokarier – 689 (11.93%)

Renee Clarke – 1745 (30.21%)

Mark Hammel – 2511 (43.47%)

Andrew Stimson – 386 (6.68%)

Pat Reynolds – 446 (7.72%)

Informal Votes – 610 (9.55%)

Votes counted – 6,387 (23.56%)

(Source – ECQ)

Division 2

William Owen-Jones has increased his lead over John Wayne but there’s still only just over 15 per cent of the vote counted.

Cr Owen-Jones has 56 per cent of the vote, leading Mr Wayne by around 600 votes.

Vote count at 10pm Sunday:

William Owen-Jones* – 2401 (56.94%)

John Wayne – 1816 (43.06%)

Informal Votes – 326 (7.18%)

Votes counted – 4543 (15.80%)

(Source – ECQ)

Division 3

Donna Gates has claimed victory in Division 3 despite only 24 per cent of the vote being counted.

The current Deputy Mayor has secured 77.12 per cent of the vote compared to Wayne Purcell on 22.88 per cent.

Cr Gates says she was going to hold off commenting until more votes had been counted, but admitted she was so excited and couldn’t wait any longer.

“It’s going to be a tough few months ahead, but the ratepayers will be foremost in my mind in every decision that we make,” she posted on Facebook. 

“Thank you all sincerely for your incredible endorsement of my work and that of my incredibly efficient staff. We all look forward to serving you into the future.”

Cr Gates is yet to commit to putting her hand up for Deputy Mayor again.

ELECTION RESULTThe ECQ has only counted 24.05% of the Division 3 vote. I do, however, want to thank you all for the…

Posted by Cr Donna Gates – Gold Coast on Sunday, 29 March 2020

Vote count at 10pm Sunday: 

Donna Gates – 4597  77.12%)

Wayne Purcell – 1364 (22.88)

Informal Votes – 567 (8.69%)

Votes Counted – 6528  (24.05%)

(Source – ECQ)

Division 4

Division 4 is one of the two divisions set to go down to the wire.

There’s still only just over 14 per cent of the vote counted, with Cameron Caldwell leading Kristyn Boulton by just over 300 votes.

Cr Caldwell claimed the key Paradise Point booth with 68.3 per cent of the vote there.

Cr Caldwell says while the trend is encouraging, the count is still too low.

Cr Boulton says she ran a “gutsy” campaign but concedes the final result won’t be known for some time.

We ran a ‘gutsy’ campaign Team KB! Results not determined as yet from yesterday’s election. I’ll keep you posted! 🗳🙋‍♀️😘

Posted by Kristyn Boulton Candidate For Division 4 on Saturday, 28 March 2020

Vote count at 10pm Sunday: 

Cameron Caldwell – 1986 (54.37%)

Kristyn Boulton* – 1667 (45.63%)

Informal Votes – 324 (8.15%)

Votes Counted – 3977 (14.31%)

(Source – ECQ)

Division 6 

Brooke Patterson’s early campaigning appears to have paid dividends with the financial professional holding onto a handy lead in the hotly contested Division 6.

With 18.14 per cent of the vote counted, Ms Patterson has a lead of 799 votes over her nearest rival Shaelee Welchman.

Despite plenty of votes still to be counted, Ms Patterson is the frontrunner to replace the retiring Dawn Crichlow.

Exciting news so far. I had a strong win at Benowa and Keebra Park booths yesterday. It is only a small fraction of…

Posted by Brooke Patterson for Division 6, Gold Coast on Saturday, 28 March 2020

Vote count at 10pm Sunday: 

Shaelee Welchman – 1007 (23.38%)

Michael Pulford – 656 (15.23%)

Brooke Patterson – 1806 (41.92%)

Josephine Tobias – 249 (5.78%)

Susie Gallagher – 590 (13.70%)

Informal Votes – 389 (8.28%)

Votes Counted – 4697 (18.14%)

(Source – ECQ)

Division 7

Division 7 will also deliver a new member to the new-look council with Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden on track to be elected.

With just over 20 per cent of the vote counted, Mr Bayldon-Lumsden holds almost 60 per cent of the vote.

He’s currently 2431 votes in front of his nearest rival Wendy Coe.

Mr Bayldon-Lumsden is reported to have spent big on social media this campaign with the effort paying dividends

UPDATE ON COUNT – The polling numbers of yesterday will be up on the ECQ website (hopefully) shortly. The pre-polling…

Posted by Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden Division 7 City of Gold Coast on Saturday, 28 March 2020

Vote count at 10pm Sunday: 

Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden – 3201 (59.98%)

Andre Saint-Four – 250 (4.68%)

Tony Melia – 511 (9.57%)

Wendy Coe – 770 (14.43%)

Amin Javanmard – 605 (11.34%)

Informal Votes – 580 (9.80%)

Votes Counted – 5917 (20.17%)

(Source – ECQ)

Division 8

Bob La Castra is set for another stint in Council with with a handy lead in Division 8.

There’s still only 17.55 per cent of the vote counted but Cr La Castra currently holds 48.23 per cent of the vote.

He’s almost 700 votes clear of his nearest rival Joshua Smith.

Vote count at 10pm Sunday: 

Joshua Smith – 1421  (32.54%)

Matthew Armstrong – 840 (19.24%)

Bob La Castra* – 2106 (48.23%)

Informal Votes – 400 (8.39%)

Votes Counted – 4767 (17.55%)

(Source – ECQ)

Division 9

Incumbent Glenn Tozer won’t claim victory yet despite holding just under 59 per cent of the vote in Division 9.

But he concedes the trend is looking good for him and he expects a firmer result in the next 24 hours.

Cr Tozer is more than 1800 votes ahead of Mary-Anne Hossack who holds just over 22 per cent of the vote.

A few people have asked about the election result today, by phone, message and email.Only 16% of the vote has been…

Posted by Glenn TOZER for Mudgeeraba & Hinterland (Division 9) on Saturday, 28 March 2020

Vote count at 10pm Sunday: 

David Guimaraes – 214 (4.38%)

Mary-Anne Hossack – 1085 (22.20%)

Glenn Tozer* – 2892 (59.18%)

Keith Douglas – 696 (14.24%)

Informal Votes – 404 (7.64%)

Votes Counted – 5291 (19,15%)

(Source – ECQ)

Division 10

The new Super Division is set to go down to the wire with preferences set to play a big role.

With still only 18 per cent of the vote counted, Darren Taylor holds a slender lead as he attempts to succeed his father in the division.

He is just 12 votes ahead of former Councillor Eddy Sarroff who is hoping to make a return to council.

Former Surfers Paradise Alliance boss Mike Winlaw is currently running in third, closely followed by radio broadcaster Adrian “AJ” Johnston.

Mr Taylor had a preference deal with Mr Johnston, while Mr Sarroff had swapped preferences with Mike Winlaw.

The final result is unlikely to be known for a number of days.

I just wanted to give everyone a quick update. I am currently in front, but only by a small margin. With a record number…

Posted by Darren Taylor Candidate for Division 10 on Sunday, 29 March 2020

Vote count at 10pm Sunday:

Adrian Johnston – 824 (17.56%)

Mike Winlaw – 860 (18.33%)

Darren Taylor – 1117 (23.81%)

Rowan Joel Panozzo – 352 (7.50%)

Seema Chauhan – 261 (5.56%)

Eddy Sarroff – 1105 (23.55%)

Stephen Cornelius – 173 (3.69%)

Informal Votes – 453 (8.80%)

Votes Counted – 5145 (18.40%)

(Source – ECQ)

Division 11

Hermann Vorster hasn’t publicly claimed victory yet but he will be returned in Division 11.

There’s only just over 20 per cent of the vote counted, but Cr Vorster has over 72 per cent of the vote over rival Chantal Clarke.

Vote count at 10pm Sunday:

Hermann Vorster* – 3739 (72.28%)

Chantal Clarke – 1434 (27.72%)

Informal Votes – 460

Votes Counted – 5633 (20.02%)

(Source- ECQ)

Division 12

Pauline Young will also be returning to Council.

With just over 40 per cent of the vote counted, Cr Young is sitting on almost 45 per cent, with her nearest rival Cathy Osborne on 28 per cent.

Zac Revere, who is running third in the count, has congratulated Cr Young, saying he believes she will emerge the winner.

After 216 days of door knocking, letterbox dropping, road waving, attending community meetings and advocating for our…

Posted by Zac Revere – Council Candidate for Mermaid, Miami & Burleigh Waters on Sunday, 29 March 2020

Vote count at 10pm Sunday: 

Pauline Young* – 4562 (44.77%)

Cathy Osborne – 2871 (28.18%)

Zac Revere – 1401 (13.75%)

Scott Turner – 1355 (13.30%)

Informal Votes – 820 (7.45%%)

Votes Counted – 11,009 (40.31%)

(Source – ECQ)

Division 13

Veteran Councillor Daphne McDonald has fought off a strong campaign to unseat her and is set to serve another four years.

Cr McDonald has almost 45 per cent of the vote with 44 per cent counted so far.

Katrina Beikoff has just over 28 per cent with Bern Young on 14 per cent.

With no preferences being exchanged in Division 13, Cr McDonald will be returned.

Ms Young concedes the pattern is clear.

“I said success was 4 things: I gave it a go, I gave it my best, I didn’t jeopardise my family and I never, never, compromised my integrity.

“In truth, defeat is a very hard pill to swallow, but I do know I did all of those four things.”


And so the campaign is over and with it, my hopes of being your Division 13 Councillor. The preliminary vote is still…

Posted by Bern Young Division 13 on Sunday, 29 March 2020

Vote count at 10pm Sunday:

Scott Wallace – 1424 (12.32%)

Daphne McDonald* – 5153 (44.98%)

Bern Young – 1631 (14.24%)

Katrina Beikoff – 3248 (28.35%)

Informal Votes – 698 (5.74%)

Votes Counted – 12,154 (44.42%)

(Source – ECQ)

Division 14

Just 18 per cent of the vote has been counted in Division 14 but Gail O’Neill has a strong enough lead over Gloria Baker to suggest she will be returned.

Cr O’Neill has 62 per cent of the vote with a lead of over 1,100.

Vote count at 10pm Sunday:

Gail O’Neill* – 2816 (62.65%)

Gloria Baker – 1679 (37.35%)

Informal Votes – 545 (10.81%)

Votes Counted – 5040 (18.54%%)

(Source – ECQ)

Cast Vote Election

Voters to be responsible for their own safety, with council election still going ahead

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has told voters to take responsibility for their own safety at this weekend’s election – which is still going ahead.

It comes amid widespread calls for the Council elections to be postponed, especially considering the federal government’s recent restrictions on gatherings.

Officials have remained united in their messaging that it’s completely safe to go ahead.

Voters are being told to think about who they’re going to vote for ahead of time, to limit decision making time in the booths.

Other measures include bringing your own pencil and practising social distancing.

Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young says she’s more concerned about the risks of bottle shops and supermarkets, and that if voters are really concerned, they know how to take care of themselves.

“I’m more concerned with people going to Dan Murphys, the scenes that I’ve seen there are appalling.

“The risks of actually going to a shop to Coles or Woolworths or Dan Murphys is far, far higher, than going and voting on Saturday.

“So this is a request to every Queenslander who hasn’t voted or is due to vote: try to vote in pre poll, or vote on Saturday.

“And just… you be responsible for maintaining 1.5 metres, you all know what that distance is and you can do it,” Ms Young said.

For information on where, when and who to vote for today, click here.

Volunteering Gold Coast launch new initiatives to support locals during COVID-19 pandemic

Volunteering Gold Coast (VGC) has unveiled an array of new initiatives to help support vulnerable and isolated locals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Simon Nugus, CEO VGC, said the organisation is doing everything they can continue to support those who need it.

“In such challenging times, organisations like Volunteering Gold Coast, which exist to serve the community, must step up,” he said.

“Our Purpose statement says that we exist to ‘Create Social Impact’ – so that’s what we’re doing.

“We are actively partnering with local organisations to meet the needs of the already vulnerable people, who are likely to be even more vulnerable now.”

Here is a list of some of the new VGC initiatives:

  • A high-risk patient transport service to enable people to access the Virus testing stations and fever clinics across the Gold Coast.
  • A volunteer calling program which provides regular telephone welfare checks for people who are at risk of social isolation.
  • A social telephone calling program to help prevent feelings of loneliness and disconnection for those who are in isolation.
  • A pen-pal program whereby volunteers write notes and letters to people who are isolated, particularly older Australians and NDIS Participants.
  • An array of services for people who are unable to leave their home:
    – Pick-up and drop-off of medications from Pharmacies
    – Grocery deliveries to alleviate reduced deliveries from supermarkets
    – Packaging of food and staple hampers, and delivery to people in need
    – Uptake of homeless services which were forced to close, and the provision of weekly meals to people who are homeless or transient
    – The delivery of food and clothing to homeless youth due to closure of existing services
    – The delivery of books, simple recipes and recreational activities to people pass the time while in isolation
  • Expansion of individual and isolated transport services to ensure continuation of services for people who require Renal or Oncology treatments.
  • Delivery of masks and hand sanitiser to ‘at risk’ people, including NDIS Participants, people who are homeless, and aged care recipients who live at home.
  • Expansion of in-home cleaning and other practical services, using staff who are trained in the use of personal protective equipment to prevent spread of COVID-19.

For more information on VGC and their initiatives, visit:


Special discounts and freebies for Gold Coast healthcare and emergency service workers

Healthcare and emergency service workers are the unsung heroes during the coronavirus pandemic, working tirelessly around the clock and putting themselves at risk to help the sick and scared.

To thank these incredible people for their ongoing efforts, a number of Gold Coast businesses are offering special deals and discounts.

Scroll down to see the food, accommodation and other deals health and emergency service workers can enjoy…


Boudoir Lounge – Southport

30% discount to all Queensland Police Force members and 50% off for all Queensland Healthcare Workers.


Third Base – Palm Beach

$3 coffees for all health and emergency service workers. Includes any size, style, milk etc.

Robina Pavilion

25% discount for all health care professionals from an already reduced price takeaway menu. Available from Wednesday 25th March.

Tony’s Pizzeria – Robina

10% discount to all healthcare and hospital staff.

Verdict Expresso Cafe – Southport

Discounted prices for coffee and meal deals for healthcare and emergency staff.

Hunger Hunt Pizza Bar & Restaurant – Surfers Paradise

15% discount on pizzas and pastas for all healthcare workers.

Oporto – Burleigh Heads

50% off for healthcare and emergency service workers.

Stuck at home? Spice up your next meal with 20% off for first-time customers via @Menulog 🍔 Offer valid until…

Posted by Oporto on Thursday, 19 March 2020


Kebabs 4 You – Mudgeeraba

20% for all healthcare workers and emergency staff.

Highland Park Carvery – Worongary

Roast dinners for healthcare, law enforcement, emergency services, Services Australia, Centrelink and ambulance workers for $9 usually $15.50.
They can also get Coffee for $2, full roast chickens for $9 and if they want chips on the side only an extra $3 for a medium serve.

McDonald’s – restaurant

Free small hot drink from McCafé or a medium soft drink for healthcare workers.

Nando’s – any restaurant

50% off the total order for Healthcare and Emergency Service workers.


Ugg Since 1974

Emergency service and health workers will receive a free pair of innersoles with every UGG boot purchase at the Miami store.

Back in Motion – Bundall and Burleigh Waters

Half price physio for local emergency services and healthcare workers. Mention when booking on 55924141 for Bundall or 56133115 for Burleigh Waters.

All Mobile Car Care

20% discount on vehicle detailing and servicing.

Zeppelin Barbers

Half price cuts for all QLD Health care workers.

View this post on Instagram

We at Zeppelin.B are here together ❤️🦓

A post shared by Zeppelin.b (@zeppelinbarbers) on

Exceptional Tuition and Resumes

Graduate nurses will receive a free cover letter with every resume.

Nutrition Warehouse

10% off for all emergency service workers.

Gone to the Dogs

Gone to the Dogs are offering free walking, feeding and washing for dogs of any Healthcare workers who are time poor!

Hinterland Physio – Nerang

50% off massage and physio for emergency and aged care workers. Just mention this post when booking on 5596 4866.

Mr & Mrs Clean Services

20% off a full house clean for health and emergency service workers.
Call Sonia on 0422932230 to book.

Happyland Kids Childcare Centre

Discounts for all healthcare workers.


Elite Gold Coast

King rooms for $90 per room per night for all healthcare and emergency service workers. Quote ‘healthcare’ when booking.

Voco Gold Coast

Deluxe rooms for $99 per night for all Emergency Service Volunteers and Staff. Quote “Emergency Services Offer” when booking on 07 5588 8326.


If you know of any other great deals or discounts for health and emergency service workers – let us know in the comments or drop us an email to

Editor’s Note: This article is for general information and not a paid advertisement. It was correct at time of publication but is subject to change without notice. Be sure to check current addresses, offers, opening hours and contact information directly with the service in advance of any purchase.