Independent Member for the Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has welcomed reports Prime Minister Scott Morrison is proposing to extend JobKeeper payments in some regional areas. Ms Sheed has called on Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum to argue the case in Canberra to include the Greater Shepparton region in any such extension.
“In April, my electorate reportedly had the third highest unemployment rate in the country. It is shocking to contemplate how high that rate could go if JobKeeper suddenly cuts out in September as planned,” Ms Sheed said.
Mr Morrison made the JobKeeper announcement when campaigning for the Eden-Monaro byelection on Tuesday, according to The Age.
“I would hate to think this was just a campaign election promise to be discarded after polls close in Eden-Monaro on Saturday week,” Ms Sheed said.
“The entire country is hurting but as the Prime Minister said some areas, particularly regional areas, are hurting more than others. Greater Shepparton has been badly affected. Our extremely successful events culture has been decimated doing enormous harm to our local hospitality and accommodation industries.
“Our unemployment rate has soared. To get back on our feet we need all the help we can get and the Prime Minister will find few regional areas more deserving of an extended JobKeeper program.”
The looming September economic “cliff” is very concerning, according to Ms Sheed.
“You’ll find few critics of the federal government’s JobKeeper and JobSeeker responses that have kept many individuals, families, businesses and entire regional economies on life-support during the worst of the COVID-19 lock down measures,” Ms Sheed said.
“To suddenly remove that protection in very vulnerable areas such as my electorate could invite disaster. I implore the Prime Minister to extend JobKeeper in Greater Shepparton.”
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