In order to support businesses and jobs in the state, the Queensland government is opting out for a bigger response against the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Households will also receive financial assistance through a rebate on electricity bills.
Queensland Government $4 Billion Package
The state government will be spending approximately $4 billion to save small and medium businesses. Businesses will be receiving refunds of two months’ worth of payroll tax. Then, payroll tax payments for the next three months will be waived.
Households will also be receiving $200 rebate on power and water charges each. This will be an addition to the already announced $50 asset dividend.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the package is vital to support jobs and families in these challenging ordeals. “Our society will go through the most difficult period most of us have experienced, but I am determined my government will support Queenslanders through it,” Palaszczuk said.
Funding of $17 million will be given to the University of Queensland (UQ) to fast-track a coronavirus vaccine developed in the state. The package included $3.5 million from the Paul Ramsay Foundation, $3 million from the Federal Government and $10 million from the state government.
The scientists and researchers at UQ are hoping to the possibility of a vaccine as much as possible instead of the typical timeline of 18 months. Professor Paul Young of UQ’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences said “we’re not cutting any corners in ensuring this vaccine is going to be safe and efficacious in humans, we will go through those clinical studies, but we should be ready to deploy as soon as that is done.”
Appreciation for Healthcare and Emergency Workers
Being recognised as modern heroes, healthcare and emergency professionals are risking their lives. Everyday they go to work to save people and contain the coronavirus. In the Gold Coast, a number of businesses are going all out in order to provide special discounts and freebies to medical professionals in the frontlines.
McDonalds along with many commercial and retail stores are participating with discounts and free goods available to those in need. Some stores are looking to reopen in April but will observe strict measures to avoid further contagion. In his speech Australian Prime Minister said it is important to “place measures that are scalable and sustainable.”
The Reserve Bank of Australian along with government entities and private companies are positioning the country for a strong recovery. “At some point, the virus will be contained and the Australian economy will recover. In the interim, a priority for the Reserve Bank is to support jobs, incomes and businesses. So that when the health crisis recedes, the country is well placed to recover strong,” RBA Governor Philip Lowe said.