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  • Queensland government will offer lockdown grants to businesses

    Author: AAP

The Queensland government will offer grants of up to $5000 for small and medium businesses hit by COVID-19 lockdowns and border closures.

The Queensland treasurer says it could take up to two weeks for grants and support payments to get to businesses and workers hit by the state's coronavirus lockdown.

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A lockdown of more than half the state's population in 11 southeast local government areas has been extended untill Sunday after a COVID-19 cluster grew to 31 cases.

Treasurer Cameron Dick says grants of up $5000 will be available for any small and medium businesses impacted by the lockdown, interstate lockdowns and border closures.

He says the $260 million program will be up and running as soon as possible, but that may take two weeks.


"That will be twice as fast as NSW," Mr Dick told reporters.

"NSW spent four weeks setting up their processes. We have looked at that very carefully inside government and we aim to get the application process going within two weeks, in a fortnight."

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland's policy and advocacy General Manager Amanda Rohan welcomed the grants, which her organisation has been calling for since March.

She said it was essential that the government start making the grants available as soon as possible.

"What we need now is for business to have timely, efficient and effective access to these payments to ensure they're able to maximise the potential for the package to make a meaningful impact where it's needed most," Ms Rohan said in a statement.

"Businesses have waited a long time for this lockdown support and they can't financially or emotionally afford to wait any longer."

Liberal National Party David Crisafulli welcomed the grants but said they would not go far enough.

He said sole traders with revenue of less than $75,000 are excluded and $5000 may not be enough support for larger businesses.

"I've had phone calls from sole traders who run businesses that turnover less than $75,000 and they've asked: what's in it for me, the answer is nothing," Mr Crisafulli told reporters.

"I've had phone calls from larger businesses that say $5000, whilst welcome, isn't going to be enough to keep the wolf from the door."

Meanwhile workers who lose more than 20 hours of work per week will be able to access federal payments of up to $750 per week.

Those who lose eight to 20 hours of work per week will be able to access weekly payments of $450.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said those payments would be available to sole traders as well.

"If they've gone through this lockdown, then they'll be able to get that support payment and that'll come through very, very promptly," he told 4BC Radio.

"They've been able to do it sometimes in as little as half an hour or a couple of days, which will happen over the course of that weekend.

"So people can, will know that's there, and hopefully it won't go beyond that."


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