KAP backs call for small business rescue package

1 July 2021

Katter’s Australian Party Leader Robbie Katter has backed calls from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland’s (CCIQ) for the Palaszczuk Labor Government to provide small businesses hit by the latest snap lockdown with a targeted financial stimulus package.

Mr Katter said other states and territories had provided state-based economic packages to small businesses so they could survive after suffering extreme revenue loss from COVID lockdowns.

Millions of Queenslanders, including in Townsville, Magnetic Island, and Palm Island, were plunged into a shock lockdown on Tuesday after a COVID-19-positive case from Brisbane travelled through the North.

Small businesses in Townsville are already reporting shocking losses as a result of the forced lock-down and strict restrictions on those businesses still allowed to open.[1]

The CCIQ has called for payments of up to $25,000 for affected businesses to cover loss of stock and trade and support the reinstatement of business operations.

Mr Katter said the KAP agreed there was a need for financial support, but that it should be scaled according to demonstrated need.

He said it was unsustainable in the long-term for small businesses, and tax-payers through rescue packages, to absorb the financial impacts of unpredictable lock-downs.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and don’t have the ability survive long-term economic pressure, especially pressure forced upon them by their own Government,” the Traeger MP said.

“As they say, put your money where your mouth is; if the Palaszczuk Government expects the small business community to shut up shop and fall in line to stop the spread of COVID, they must be prepared to foot the bill for these small businesses to stay afloat.”

“When you drive through North Queensland, through Townsville and out west, you do not overwhelmingly see big business; you see hundreds of little shopfronts all run and staffed by locals in the community.

“We want to keep it that way, but they cannot sustain these hits on their own.”

Mr Katter said just like money does not grow on trees, it doesn’t just magically appear in the till at the end of the day either.

He said he would today write to the Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skill development Di Farmer, requesting she honour the CCIQ’s request.

Nick Dametto MP, Member for Hinchinbrook said, “Closing the doors for three days may not sound like a lot but when you run a small business it is, any disruption in business momentum has long lasting impacts.”

He also said, “It does not take two or three days to recover from a lockdown, it takes three or four weeks, sometimes even months.”

“The Government has not come forward with any packages, this is why I am joining the call by the CCIQ to make available a $25,000 financial stimulus support to small businesses suffering from the forced lockdown.”

In response to Di Farmer, Minister for Small Business’ comments on support available for North Queensland, Mr Dametto said “small businesses are deeply in tune to what their business needs are, nine times out of ten they do not need someone {small business centre}  telling them what they already know, they need financial stimulus”.


Nick Dametto, Member for Hinchinbrook

[1] https://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/townsville/covid-rule-uncertainty-hampers-townsvilles-small-businesses/news-story/ab3db322924c00e0e4488702fd81e47d

Nick Dametto MP