Mayor welcomes Premier’s support for local businesses

Date published: 7 April 2019

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill has welcomed Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s move to seek further funding assistance for local businesses impacted by the unprecedented monsoon.

Ms Palaszczuk has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to request an increase in the up-front payment eligible businesses can claim through the disaster recovery assistance package from $10,000 to $25,000.

Currently, small businesses affected by the unprecedented monsoon can receive up to $10,000 through an up-front payment and can access a further $40,000 to recoup eligible expenses after purchase.

Cr Hill welcomed the Premier’s action to advocate for Townsville businesses impacted by the natural disaster.

“I’d like to thank the Premier for understanding the devasting impact the monsoon has had on hundreds of businesses in our city – businesses that have been doing it tough for a long time,” Cr Hill said.

“Our whole community hopes the Prime Minister acts swiftly on the recommendation from the Premier and agrees to increase the up-front cash payment to $25,000 for local businesses impacted by this natural disaster.”

Townsville Local Recovery and Resilience Group Chair Deputy Mayor Les Walker said the extra support will make a huge difference to the city’s economic recovery.

“Supporting our local businesses and assisting them to re-open will be crucial in ensuring locals can get back to work sooner,” Cr Walker said.

“The recovery effort will take a long time and it is important for all levels of government to continue to work together for our city.”

Governance and Finance Committee Chair Cr Verena Coombe said the extra support will make a huge difference to local businesses struggling with cash flow after being impacted by the unprecedented monsoon.

“Many businesses cannot trade until they repair their properties and are currently getting no revenue because they can’t trade,” Cr Coombe said.

“More than doubling the upfront cash payment to $25,000 could be the difference for some businesses between being able to re-open and staying shut.”