February 25, 2021

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Palaszczuk hits back at Frydenberg after JobKeeper snub

3 min read
<p>"Perhaps rather than name-calling, he could go up there and listen."</p>

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has urged Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to go and visit Far North Queensland's struggling tourism operators after he rejected further federal assistance for the sector.

There are around 10,000 businesses in Tropical North Queensland relying on JobKeeper, which is scheduled to end in March.

The sector supports one in five jobs in the region and relies heavily on international tourists.

READ MORE: Treasurer rejects JobKeeper extension for struggling tourism sector, says states should cough up the cash

Ms Palaszczuk has just returned from a tour of Cairns and surrounds, where she announced a further $60 million in state assistance for local operators.

"I've been up there listening to the operators personally," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"Perhaps rather than Josh Frydenberg name-calling, he could go up there and listen as well.

"They are concerned they are going to fall off a cliff."

Earlier today Mr Frydenberg told Today states should "put their hands in their pockets" in response to Queensland's call to extend JobKeeper for the hardest-hit sectors.

"Our federal economic support has delivered more than three times what the Palaszczuk government has committed to," Mr Frydenberg said.

"We'd welcome the states putting their hands in their pockets and spending a little bit more in their own states as part of the economic recovery."

Ms Palaszczuk rejected the suggestion she hasn't offered enough economic support at a state level, saying her government had injected $11 billion into economic stimulus over the course of the pandemic, and was currently working on further ways to assist the Far North.

Queensland recorded no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 today, and just one case in hotel quarantine - a woman in her 40s who has returned from Pakistan via Doha, Qatar.

https://twitter.com/AnnastaciaMP/status/1354937384211632136?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

The encouraging figures come as the state marks one year to the day since it became the first state in the country to decare a health emergency to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I can remember very clearly that I called a meeting of the Queensland disaster management committee to look at this issue and ministers had to come back from our caucus retreat to make sure that we were dealing with this issue," Ms Palaszczuk told this morning's press conference.

In that time, Queensland has conducted more than 1.7 million COVID-19 tests and recorded 1309 cases.

"Tragically, six people have passed away and we extend our condolences to those people and five were from cruise ships," Ms Palaszczuk said.

Other key statistics from the past year include:

  • 28,000 people joined Queensland's Care Army to look after the state's vulnerable
  • 1.2 million vehicles were processed at the state's borders
  • 878,392 passengers were processed at Queensland airports

Ms Palaszczuk thanked frontline emergency staff who have helped in the state's response to the pandemic.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/jobkeeper-extension-queensland-premier-annastacia-palaszczuk-hits-back-at-treasurer-josh-frydenberg-coronavirus-tourism/3644370d-f9ce-4e62-92ea-11891ca5b361

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