QLD announces $4bn relief package, opens mining roles

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Image: the Queensland Government

The Queensland Government has unveiled a $4 billion package to support jobs, businesses, health and households in response to the coronavirus crisis.

This is the largest relief package assembled by any Australian state or territory to date, with $2.5 billion being pumped into protecting Queensland businesses and jobs.

Of this, a package of up to $500 million will be used to assist workers who have lost their job or income and filter them into industries that are vital to getting Queensland and wider Australia through the crisis.

The mining sector has been identified as one of these essential industries thanks to its vital commodities for export and domestic use.

Mining giant BHP announced earlier this week that it had planned to hire 1500 new workers to support its operations, offering short-term positions for workers who had lost their employment.

Queensland’s Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad has been engaging with the state’s industries and businesses, taking their feedback to the parliament to arrive at these solutions.

As well as supporting people who have lost employment due to the coronavirus, the state government will also be offering tax relief to help businesses get through the challenging time.

“For small, medium and large businesses specifically impacted by COVID-19 (coronavirus disease of 2019), we will refund two months’ worth of payroll tax,” Trad said.

“Additionally, we’re giving small and medium businesses a three-month payroll tax holiday and a further six-month payroll tax deferral for any of these Queensland businesses.

“Combined with the payroll tax deferrals we’ve already announced, it means no Queensland business impacted by COVID-19 will need to make a payroll tax payment this year.”

The Queensland Government also plans to provide rent relief for businesses which rent premises from the state government, and give sole traders, small and medium businesses a $500 rebate on their power bill for this year.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state government was committed to supporting Queensland businesses and jobs through the hardships caused by the coronavirus.

“Our society will go through the most difficult period most of us have ever experienced,” Palaszuczuk said.

“I am determined my government will support Queenslanders through it.”