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11 March, 2021

$1.2 Billion Support Package To Benefit The North

Today the Federal Government will announce a raft of measures designed to bolster the Far North’s economy post-JobKeeper.

The measures are specifically tailored to assist the norths tourism and hospitality industries.

The key points expected to be announced today include:

  • From April 1 – July 31, nearly 800,000 half price flight tickets to 13 regions including Cairns
  • Business loans up to $5m over 10 years with a 24-month repayment holiday – eligible to businesses that have graduated off JobKeeper between January 4 and March 28
  • Financial assistance to aviation workers, (ground handlers) to cover costs related to mandatory training, certification and accreditation.
  • International freight assistance, ensuring flights to export Australian goods to overseas markets
  • One-off grants to assist travel agents and tour arrangement service providers stay viable.
  • Assistance to aquariums and zoos to maintain animal populations
  • Assistance to both Qantas and Virgin to retain up to 8600 employees in their international operations up until October 31 when airlines can expect to resume international flights

The $1.2bn package is expected to be announced this morning however media overnight are reporting on details.

Cairns will benefit greatly from this announcement. With the approach of the norths peak domestic season, the additional flight seats will lift local tourism and hospitality operators and provide greater security for workers.

It is anticipated up to 46,000 discounted fares could be offered each week between April 1 and July 31.

The discounted fare are only applicable to interstate tourists, flying to Cairns, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Whitsundays and Hamilton Island in Queensland, along with Alice Springs, Devonport, Burnie, Broome, Avalon, Merimbula and Kangaroo Island elsewhere.

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison was reported over night as saying, “This is our ticket to recovery — half-price airfares to get Australians travelling and supporting tourism operators, businesses, travel agents and airlines who continue to do it tough through COVID-19 while our international borders remain closed.”

“That means more jobs and investment for the tourism and aviation sectors as Australia heads towards winning our fight against COVID-19 and the restrictions that have hurt so many businesses.

“Our tourism businesses don’t want to rely on government support forever.”


Tropical North Queensland:

Cairns from Melbourne, Sydney and Darwin

Whitsundays and Mackay Region:

Sydney to Proserpine and Hamilton Island

Gold Coast:

Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Avalon

Sunshine Coast

Maroochydore from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide


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