Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the Environment Management Charge for tourism businesses operating in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park will be waived for the reminder of the year.
This initiative is part of the Morrison Government’s multi-billion dollar economic response to Coronavirus.
As part of the response the federal government has set aside an initial $1 billion allocation to support those regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the Coronavirus, including those heavily reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education.
Mr Entsch said this initiative will provide much needed relief for the tourism industry and further encourage visitors to the amazing places in our own backyard.
He said further announcements regarding the $1 billion allocation for severely affected regions such as Far North Queensland would be made over the coming weeks.
“This initiative is one that I have been extremely vocal about ensuring was part of this package,” Mr Entsch said.
“There is absolutely no doubt that our tourism businesses and operators are doing it tough at the moment.
“Tourism operators told me this is one measure that will provide immediate relief for them and one that I am extremely pleased to see delivered.”
Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators executive director Col McKenzie said this initiative was the shot in the arm the industry desperately needed.
“AMPTO is extremely grateful for this assistance. This measure will ensure tourism businesses and operators will be able to retain staff until things start to pick up again,” Mr McKenzie said.
“I want to personally thank Warren Entsch for listening to the industry and delivering this important initiative.
“Industry-wide there is around 7000 businesses that will directly benefit from this initiative.
“For example, this initiative will save some local businesses, such as Quicksilver, up to $2.8 million in fees this year alone.
“This is absolutely fantastic news and one that is 100 per cent welcomed by the entire industry.”
Mr Entsch said the Australian Tax Office will also provide administrative relief for certain tax obligations for taxpayers affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.
He said the support would include deferring tax payments for up to four months conducted on a case-by-case basis.
“The ATO will set up a temporary shop front in Cairns within the next few weeks with dedicated staff specialising in assisting small business,” he said.
Further information about the government’s economic response can be found at www.treasury.gov.au