QLD lockdown: Inside $4b stimulus package to help unemployed

 

QUEENSLAND taxpayers will take on the wages bill for some of the unemployed in the wake of coronavirus crisis, as part of a $500 million package to get people into work.

It's part of a mammoth $4 billion stimulus from the Queensland Government which will be funded through normal debt borrowings and stopping non-essential government work.

About 51,000 Queenslanders were impacted by the weekend decision to shut a raft of businesses including pubs and clubs however it's not known how high Queensland's unemployment rate could reach.

"There will be some industries where there will need to be a surge in workers but we have seen some industries like hospitality workers, workers in casinos, cafes and restaurants who have been totally displaced," Treasurer Jackie Trad said.

Thousands of Queenslanders are unemployed after the federal government’s decision to close bars, clubs and restaurants. (AAP Image/Richard Walker)
Thousands of Queenslanders are unemployed after the federal government’s decision to close bars, clubs and restaurants. (AAP Image/Richard Walker)

"If the government can step in, firstly to support industry with a surge in wages or for government to take on the wages bill for some displaced workers so they are getting an income then that is what we will be looking at."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was important Queensland had more cleaners and that people were preparing for extra space in hospitals for beds.

"So this money is about saying if you don't have the fruit pickers to pick your fruit we can employ people to do that with this money," she said.

Asked whether there would be further stimulus announcements, Ms Trad said she expected the crisis to last for six months or more.

 

 

It's still not known when the State Budget will take place, but Ms Trad said it was her intention to produce "a set of financial accounts" before the October election.

It was scheduled for April 28.

"Right now, what I have asked treasury officers to do, is to stop working on the accounts and start working on supporting industry and business and workers," she said.

"I need them focused on how to make sure our economy gets through this challenge, gets through this crisis, not inputting figures into a spreadsheet."

It's not known if State Parliament will sit next week.

Originally published as State unveils mammoth $4b stimulus package



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