Canberra ‘not to be found’ as NSW offers $ 1b business package

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet. Brook Mitchell

This will make up the lion’s share of the package, accounting for $ 700 million of the $ 1 billion in support.

Another $ 1000 in rebates will be given to small businesses to help them cover costs including rapid COVID-19 tests, licensing and council fees or road tolls.

Commercial landlords who have waived rent will receive cash grants of up to $ 3000 per month while protections for tenants have been extended for another two months until March 13.

The NSW government will also spend $ 80 million underwriting ticket sales for performing art venues to cover ticket sales losses between September 19 to April 30 after coronavirus essentially closed theaters across the country.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said his government was putting people before the budget, noting people now needed to get their vaccine boosters to help with the recovery.

“If you take a step back from everything over the last two years, our health response has been strong, our economic response has been strong,” Mr Perrottet said on Sunday.

“That is because of the efforts everybody has made across the state, so please, one last push.”

Business NSW head Daniel Hunter, who stood with the Premier on the weekend, said the package would “keep some businesses afloat”.

“It’s now about getting out and about in a safe way and enjoying ourselves. We need consumer confidence to return, ”Mr Hunter said.

The state government support package comes without any help from Canberra who have refused to help chip in.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said he was “very disappointed” the federal government had declined to help and Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg were “not to be found”.

“These are not just NSW businesses, they’re Australian businesses that pay their taxes to the Commonwealth government,” Mr Kean said.

“Rather than the Commonwealth government stepping aside, we expect them to step up as well.”

Mr Perrottet said “if you invest in your economy, if you invest in your people, the budget will take care of itself”.

“If you do not take this approach, I’ll tell you what you’ll have, you’ll have a poor economy, you’ll have people out of work and you’ll have a poor budget position at the end of it, ”Mr Perrottet said.

NSW Labor leader Chris Minns said the relief was “very late and very slow” pointing to how businesses would not be able to claim the grants for turnover losses until February 14.

He said businesses need the money now to make the most of the last few weeks of th summer trading period.

“It’s almost a reluctant package released by the NSW Premier, to businesses that have gone through so much,” Mr Minns said.

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