Qld must offer small business support: LNP

Laine Clark |

The Liberal National Party says the Queensland government must follow the lead of other states and offer support to COVID-19 hit small businesses.

Opposition leader David Crisafulli says owners and operators across the state are doing it tough, dismissing Treasurer Cameron Dick’s claim that Queensland had “done better than almost any other part of the country” during the pandemic.

Mr Dick on Saturday thanked Queenslanders for acting promptly on health advice, saying the state was now benefiting.

“On balance that has been a very good thing for Queensland,” he told reporters.

“I know it has been disruptive and accept that the difficulties it has caused families and businesses but we have done better than almost any other part of the country and that is a dividend that is now going back to Queenslanders.”

But Mr Crisafulli said time was running out for some businesses and pleaded with the state government to emulate the likes of South Australia which on Saturday announced a new round of stimulus support for COVID-19 impacted businesses.

“The treasurer … said that businesses weren’t doing it tough when you compare with other states – that is a comment so far detached from how every day people are feeling,” he said.

“South Australia have announced a record support package, we know that NSW are only days away.

“The treasurer must follow suit for Queensland. We have businesses clinging by their finger tips and desperately need to know if the state government is going to help them.”

Mr Crisafulli said Queensland businesses had been hit with the “double whammy” of a lack of patronage and staff shortages brought on by COVID-19.

He said they should be compensated if the Queensland government did not relax virus restrictions like they did for jobs critical for food supply or emergency services earlier this month.

“Small and family businesses aren’t subject to the same quarantine rules as many other industries,” he said.

“You have to compensate them accordingly because they are doing it really tough.

“Every other state is recognising it.

“We have a wonderful tourism and hospitality offering in this state but they are not going to be around unless the government finds a way to help them through.”