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Support for Australian Tourism and Fire-Affected Communities factsheet

As at 23 January 2020

The Australia Government is investing $76 million in a tourism recovery package to protect jobs, small businesses and local economies by helping get tourists travelling across Australia again.

One in thirteen Australian jobs rely on tourism and hospitality so the $76 million investment is an urgent injection to help all those hotels, restaurants and cafes and tour operators get back on their feet.

This initiative forms part of the Australian Government’s initial $2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund.

Key Assistance

  • $76 million to support tourism and fire-affected communities
  • $20 million for a domestic tourism marketing campaign
  • $25 million for an international tourism marketing campaign
  • $10 million in funding will be provided for events in fire affected regions
  • $9.5 million for an international media and trade hosting initiative
  • $5 million for our diplomatic network

Domestic marketing campaign

$20 million for a domestic tourism marketing campaign to encourage Australians to holiday in Australia and provide support to affected communities and regions.

International marketing campaign

$25 million will be provided for an international tourism marketing campaign to reinforce to global audiences that Australia is safe and open for business. The campaign will partner with industry to encourage direct bookings to Australian travel destinations.

Regional tourism events initiative

$10 million in funding will be provided for bespoke events, concerts, festivals and/or other permanent visitor attractions (such as art installations and tourists walks etc.) in fire affected regions to assist the recovery effort. Eligible applicants in bushfire affected regions will be invited to apply for grant funding under the Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants program.

International Media Hosting

$9.5 million to bring international media outlets, leading international television shows and print media to Australia, and conduct industry familiarisation visits to experience firsthand the fact that most of Australia is unaffected by fires and open for business, and create urgency among Australia’s key markets to visit Australia now.

Australian Tourism Exchange

Tourism Australia will receive $6.5 million to get more businesses and buyers to the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) in 2020 by discounting fees and creating new incentive structures. Run by Tourism Australia, ATE is Australia’s largest annual travel and tourism business-to-business event. ATE brings together Australian tourism businesses and tourism wholesalers and retailers from around the world through a combination of scheduled business appointments and networking events.

Mobilising the global network

The government will also immediately provide a $5 million boost to ensure Australia’s diplomatic network has the resources to reassure our international partners that our tourism, international education and export sectors are open for business. This support will include the mobilisation of specialists in priority locations, additional communications materials (including translation costs) and an expanded public diplomacy effort.

Other Government Support

Disaster Recovery Payment

People are entitled to a one-off payment during a bushfire if:

  • you get injured
  • you lose an immediate family member
  • your home is significantly damaged or destroyed
  • a major asset or assets you own located at your principal place of residence has or have been destroyed or suffered major damage from the fire.

Each eligible adult will receive $1,000 and each eligible dependent will receive $400. The Australian Government has also announced an additional $400 ($800 in total) for each eligible child to help families with education expenses.

To claim the payment, call Services Australia (Centrelink) on 180 22 66. You can call from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Disaster Recovery Allowance

If you have lost income as a direct result of a bushfire you can get an income support payment for up to 13 weeks. The payment is the equivalent of the maximum rate of Newstart or Youth Allowance.

To claim the allowance, call Services Australia (Centrelink) on 180 22 66.

Emergency Support for Primary Producers

Grants of up to $75,000 are being made available to assist eligible primary producers deal with their immediate needs and can be used for everything from fodder and water, sheds, fencing and agricultural equipment, where those needs are not covered by their existing insurance policies.

To be eligible, you must:

  • earn more than 50% of your income from primary production
  • spend part of your labour on primary production
  • have been carrying on your business at the time of the fires
  • not be a corporation.

If you don’t earn more than 50% of your income from primary production, you may still be eligible if:

  • you can show you will earn 50% of your income from primary production within 3 years, or
  • you can show you would ordinarily earn more than 50% of your income from primary production but this has been affected by drought, and
  • in both cases, you earn less than $100,000 in “off-farm” income.

For more information on the Emergency Bushfire Response in Primary Industries Grants Program contact 1800 900 090 during business hours.

Assistance for Small Business affected by the bushfires

The Australian and state and territory governments are helping small businesses in bushfire affected communities get back up on their feet.

This includes support for small businesses to recover and rebuild, address cash flow pressures, and access financial counselling and tax support.

Recovery Grants

The Australian and state and territory governments are providing recovery grants of up to $50,000 to eligible small businesses and non-profit organisations, where they have suffered direct damage to their premises or equipment from the bushfires and intend to re-establish in the community.

The grants are available for clean-up and reinstatement activities, including replacement of goods and products.

For more information visit www.business.gov.au/news/bushfire-support

Concessional Loans

The Australian and state and territory governments are providing concessional loans of up to $500,000 to eligible small businesses (including primary producers) and non-profit organisations.

The loans are available for:

  • restoration and replacement of assets damaged by the bushfires; and
  • working capital expenses where a business has suffered a significant loss of income as a result of the bushfires.

Loans available for small businesses in eligible Local Government Areas whose assets have been significantly damaged or have suffered significant loss. Further information is available at www.disasterassist.gov.au  and www.business.gov.au/news/bushfire-support

The above grants and loans for small businesses are funded under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements. These are joint Federal Government-State cost sharing arrangements to alleviate the financial burden on the states responding to natural disasters and facilitate early provision of assistance to disaster affected communities.

Small Business Financial Support Line

The Government is establishing a support line to provide advice and support for small businesses in bushfire affected communities. The support line will provide information on the assistance that is available and access to specialist small business financial counselling services.

While the specialist Support Line is being established, businesses can visit www.business.gov.au or call 1800 413 828.

Tax Support

Businesses in bushfire-impacted postcodes are eligible for tax support and assistance through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), including:

  • deferring the due date for lodgement and payment of business activity statements, income tax returns and fringe benefits tax returns to 28 May 2020;
  • allowing businesses that pay their Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalments quarterly to vary their instalments to nil for the December 2019 quarter without penalty, and also claim a credit for the instalment amount paid for the September 2019 quarter; and
  • allowing businesses to opt in to monthly GST reporting from the start of a quarter (such as 1 April 2020), in order to get quicker access to GST refunds.

Taxpayers impacted by the bushfires can contact the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 for help. This phone line is available for everyone, including those who are outside the identified impacted areas.

Further information is available on the ATO website: www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Dealing-with-disasters/In-detail/Specific-disasters/Bushfires-2019-20/

Tax Exemption for Disaster Relief Payments

The Australian Government is taking action to ensure that disaster relief payments made to individuals and businesses impacted by the bushfires are tax exempt.

Key contacts

National

Contact name Contact number
Disaster Recovery Payment and Allowance 180 22 66
Rural Financial Counselling Service 1800 686 175
Debt recovery 1800 076 072
ATO Emergency Support Infoline 1800 806 218
National Debt Helpline 1800 007 007

NSW

  • Service NSW 13 77 88

VIC

SA

  • SA recovery hotline 1800 302 787
  • Small Business Bushfire Recovery Grant (SA) (08) 8429 3242
  • Primary Industries and Regions SA (Primary Industries Grants Program) 1800 931 314

WA

  • Emergency WA 13 3337

ACT

  • ACT Emergency Services Agency 132 281

QLD

  • QLD Disaster and Alerts 132 500
  • QLD Rural and Industry Development Authority (Primary Industries Grants Program) 1800 623 946

TAS

  • TAS Alert (03) 6232 7551