McBride: crucial financial support for regional SA is welcomed

HOPE: Mr McBride hopes that if there is no more COVID cases, there can be a situation where regional South Australia is opened up quicker than metro areas.
HOPE: Mr McBride hopes that if there is no more COVID cases, there can be a situation where regional South Australia is opened up quicker than metro areas.

Member for MacKillop Nick McBride has welcomed recent financial support to regional South Australians during the state's seven-day lockdown.

The State Government's $100 million Business Support Package was announced yesterday, providing South Australian small and medium-sized businesses with access to a $3,000 emergency cash grant.

Payments will help businesses cover ongoing operating costs such as rent, power bills, supplier and raw material costs and other fees, and be able to re-open when restrictions ease.

The major support package also includes a new $1,000 cash grant for eligible small businesses who don't employ staff.

Outside of the package, State Government confirmed it will fund support payments to regional residents who live and work outside of the Commonwealth-declared 'Hotspot' of Adelaide metro, Hills and Gawler.

The Commonwealth's COVID-19 Disaster Payment scheme provides $375 per week for workers who've lost between 8-20 hours' work (or a full day of work), and $600 per week if a person has lost over 20 hours' work.

Mr McBride said he welcomes the aforementioned financial support, but hopes that South Australia won't be in lockdown a day longer than it has to.

"While it was disappointing that the financial support didn't go to the regions, the Federal Government were well in their rights to do what they did, as regional South Australia wasn't declared a hotspot," he said.

He said that due to the entire state being forced into lockdown, it was important that regional South Australia received the same support as their metro counterparts.

The declaration of the metro-based hotspot has now opened up an interesting discussion on why the state's regions should experience harsh restrictions, even though there are no confirmed regional cases.

"The past couple of days has clearly defined what constitutes a hotspot. Hopefully, if there is no more COVID cases, we can see a situation where regional South Australia is opened up quicker," Mr McBride said.

Despite many hoping the lockdown doesn't extend past the seven days, situations in Victoria and New South Wales show how quickly things can get out of hand.

"We have seen that most of the times that COVID gets away is when it gets into a populated area of the city and spreads into low socio-economic areas," Mr McBride said.

"For some people living in those areas, English is their second language, and that can make it hard when it comes to conveying messages such as wearing masks and limiting movement."

Mr McBride hopes South Australians will work together to help get on top of the state's current outbreak, and a return to "COVID-normal" can come sooner, rather than later.

Information about government support will be available at: https://treasury.sa.gov.au/sbg, and to register interest in business support grants, businesses are encouraged to email; smallbusinessgrant@sa.gov.au

Applications for the grant are expected to open within the next two weeks, via the treasury website, and grants will be processed as quickly as possible.

To be eligible for the one-off $3,000 emergency cash grant, a business must, as at 12:01am, Tuesday, July 20, 2021:

  • Be located within South Australia
  • Have an annual turnover of $75,000 or more in 2020-21 or 2019-20, and be registered for GST
  • Employ people in South Australia
  • Have an Australia-wide payroll of less than $10 million in 2019-20
  • Have a valid Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Experienced at least a 30 per cent reduction (compared to the week prior) in turnover due to the restricted trading conditions

To be eligible for the one-off $1,000 emergency cash grant, a non-employing business must meet the criteria listed above excluding the requirement to employ people.

Payments will be paid in arrears for the lockdown and anyone affected can apply through myGOV from Wednesday, July 28.

More information, including how to claim the Commonwealth COVID-19 Disaster Payment (including the matching income support payment for eligible SA individuals outside the Commonwealth declared hotspots) will be available at: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/covid-19-disaster-payment

This story McBride: crucial financial support for regional SA is welcomed first appeared on Border Chronicle.