Travel agents desperately battling to keep their businesses alive are still waiting for support, seven weeks after Scott Morrison promised it.
Every week, agents who received little or no support in the first round of the Morrison Government’s Consumer Travel Support Program are contacting my office or their local members’ offices in distress.
Many fear they will be forced to let go all staff or close their businesses because the Morrison Government has failed to provide the support they need to survive the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yesterday, Scott Morrison claimed that JobKeeper and other supports for the travel and tourism sector had “kept the industry whole, kept it intact, kept people together and kept businesses being able to tick over”.
But for many travel agents that’s simply not true.
Other businesses in the tourism and travel sector are also at risk and the situation is getting worse since the end of JobKeeper.
The Australian Federation of Travel Agents said the first round of the Consumer Travel Support Program had failed because “multiple flaws” meant that “many of these small businesses that desperately need support are in fact not eligible”.
An additional $130 million second round is useless if the Government can’t ensure that those who most desperately need support can get it, and that the funding is actually being delivered to agents.
Australians working in the travel and tourism sector deserve better than a Prime Minister who is always keen on a photo op but never there for the follow up.