Australia has restricted entry for visitors leaving mainland China. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning
Australia has restricted entry for visitors leaving mainland China. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning

Govt’s $27m lifeline for coronavirus-hit industries

QUEENSLAND tourism and fishing businesses will see fees waived as part of a $27 million state government coronavirus financial stimulus package.

As visitor numbers plummet and flights are cancelled, the state's tourism destinations will be spruiked with a $7 million international marketing campaign as part of the package.

Tropical North Queensland will benefit from a $2.3 million marketing campaign, with $2.5 million for the Gold Coast and $500,000 to advertise the state's food produce.

A further $2 million will be spent marketing Queensland to foreign students and $1 million for international student support.

 

Australia has restricted entry for visitors leaving mainland China. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning
Australia has restricted entry for visitors leaving mainland China. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning

 

Warning the coronavirus was "a disaster like any cyclone, fire or flood", Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the funding would target industries vulnerable to an economic shock.

"Our tourism, fishing and international education industries are hurting," she told parliament.

The China travel ban has cost Brisbane an estimated $1 billion so far with 210 flights cancelled so far.

The lucrative international student market could take a significant hit, with an estimated 13,000 Chinese students unable to travel to Queensland universities to start classes this week.

Under the state government funding package, fishing operators will see licencing and quota fees waived, quote fees for rock lobster and coral trout waived and the catch area for tropical rock lobster extended.

 

Kristy Nasrawi who owns Tourist House Souvenirs, Brisbane. The tourism industry has been impacted hard by coronavirus. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Kristy Nasrawi who owns Tourist House Souvenirs, Brisbane. The tourism industry has been impacted hard by coronavirus. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

 

Grants will also be offered for boat upgrades and onshore facilities like freezers.

Liquor licence fees will be lowered for businesses that depend on tourists, inbound tour operator fees will be waived.

Operators at the Cairns Marina and Green Island jetty will receive refunds on fees and Ports North commercial tenants will be offered rent rebates.

Ms Palaszczuk said the package was "the largest, most comprehensive coronavirus response by any government anywhere in Australia".

 

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr. Jeannette Young. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr. Jeannette Young. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

 

She called for the federal government to match the state funding and activate the Disaster Recovery Allowance.



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