Australia’s major theme parks and casinos have signed up for the government’s JobKeeper scheme to pay stood down staff.
Village Roadshow and Star Entertainment are among more than 600,000 businesses that have signed up to the scheme.
Theme parks and casinos sign up for wage subsidy
Village Roadshow operates Movie World, Sea World, Wet’n’Wild, Topgolf and Paradise Country attractions.
The company shut the theme parks down last week, standing down its workers.
CEO Clark Kirby is working with the government to implement the $1,500 a fortnight subsidy for each employee.
He hopes the payments will allow the company to immediately re-hire staff when the health crisis is over:
“Our team members are our family, and this will give us an incredible opportunity to keep our family together and retain the unique skill sets we will need to reopen on the other side of this situation.”
Star Entertainment stands down 8000 workers
Star Entertainment confirmed the company has also registered for the JobKeeper program for its 8000 laid-off workers.
The Star closed its venues in Queensland and Sydney because of tightened social distancing rules.
Bars and restaurants register for scheme
The hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard by the national COVID-19 shutdown.
Many bar and restaurant operators in Brisbane have also signed up for the JobKeeper scheme, including Phil Hogan, owner of the Jade Buddha bar:
“On the face of it, it’s a great help because you’re trying to keep your keep people and many in hospitality are casual.
“We were talking to our accountants about it yesterday and we’ve already contacted a lot of our staff today.
“It gives people hope.’’
James Power, owner of The Norman Hotel at Woolloongabba, says his group is also in the process of signing up for the wage subsidy.
“This is very welcome news and we’re delighted to be able to take advantage of it,’’ he said.
Mr Power says his business employs eight full-time staff and about 50 casuals.
Casuals need to be eligible for subsidy
Kenton Campbell from Zarraffa’s Coffee says the JobKeeper subsidy is offering hope for struggling franchisees.
“The big thing with this is that businesses have the ability to claim for casual workers who have been working for them for a year or more,” he said.
“We’re run by casuals…80 to 90 percent of our hours are casual so that’s crazy good and will be the difference for some of these people to stay open.”
Attorney-General Christian Porter today confirmed that casuals who have worked for a business for less than 12-months will not be eligible for JobKeeper.
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