“We have to end it”: Tourism Minister insists Job Keeper cannot continue

The federal Tourism Minister insists the Job Keeper payments must come to an end as planned next week, closing the door on any further targetted support for now.

Businesses are preparing for big losses when the support finally comes to an end, while recent treasury data suggests as many as 150,000 jobs could be lost.

Tourism operators, in particular, are stressing on the future, with international travel still not on the cards for months to come.


The federal government recently announced their $1.2 billion tourism and aviation support which hopes to encourage domestic travel to the most affected areas.

Tourism Minister Dan Tehan spoke to the ABC this morning, ruling out any further support for now.

“JobKeeper will end at the end of the month. It’s done its job. It’s been temporary and targeted.

“It’s the largest-ever single-government support ever offered in our history.

“What we do want to do is provide some targeted support to our tourism industry, and that’s what we’re doing through our aviation and tourism package where we have discounted flights starting at the beginning of April.

“Even before that, what we’ve seen is a 40% increase in bookings on our airlines for people to be travelling to destinations.

The Queensland government has been particularly vocal in pushing for more targetted support for tourism operators, with both the Premier and Opposition Leader signing a letter to the Prime Minister on the matter yesterday.

However, the federal Tourism Minister says there are things the state government can do to help the industry itself.

“The key thing that the Queensland State Government can do the make sure that it keeps its border open.

“Because what we want to do is produce confidence. We want people to have the confidence to be able to travel because that is the single-biggest thing that is holding tourism back in this nation at the moment.

“If we could get the Queensland Premier and the Opposition Leader out saying that borders would be closed as a last resort, that would be a wonderful achievement because it would give people the confidence to travel to Queensland,” Minister Tehan told the ABC.