More support for businesses ravaged by NSW’s recent lockdown is on the way, with newly-minted treasurer Matt Kean to unveil his economic recovery plan.
The government on Wednesday announced a $530 million financial aid plan for the tourism and events sector, after earlier this week outlining a mental health care package.
Included in the funding is a voucher scheme aimed at boosting domestic tourism, which will see every adult receive a $50 voucher to spend on a hotel in the state.
Called Stay and Rediscover – the scheme builds on the success of the recently expanded Dine and Discover program and is part of a broader package designed to help the state’s tourism industry after months of lockdown.
The package also included a $60 million aviation attraction fund, $150 million to restart major events across the state, a $25 million support fund for music festivals, $50 million to revitalise the Sydney CBD, and funding for business events, cancelled events, and recovery marketing.
But premier Dominic Perrottet in parliament teased more announcements would come on Thursday.
“The treasurer will be releasing the economic recovery plan tomorrow, which will support businesses to help recover every single one of the 230,000 jobs that have been lost during this most recent outbreak,” he said.
“We are confident that we will do that because it’s exactly what we did last year… by putting people and families and businesses before the budget.
In fact, Mr Perrottet said the state is already “bouncing back better” – which is the name of the plan.
“Data from Freedom Day reveals a 10-fold increase in spending across previously shuttered retail and hospitality sectors,” he said.
Some $12.8 million was spent in the state’s restaurants, pubs and bars, up from $1 million on the previous Monday, and retail spending lifted from $35 million to $100 million, and a further $4 million was spent on accommodation.
“Haircuts are going through the roof – $5 million was splurged on state hairdressers and barbers in one week,” added Mr Perrottet, whose first port of call after lockdown lifted was a barber.
It comes as the number of new cases diagnosed across NSW remains relatively low, despite the easing of restrictions.
A total of 283 new locally acquired cases and seven deaths were announced on Wednesday.
There are 552 people in NSW hospitals with COVID, 124 of them in ICU.