OPINION

St George Matters with Chris Minns: Time for Jobkeeper to return

St George Matters with Chris Minns: Time for Jobkeeper to return

The fight against the dangerous Delta COVID-19 virus continues in St George with cases identifies in Kogarah and Hurstville. I plead with anyone that has even the slightest symptom to go and get tested.

NSW Labor has offered bi-partisan support for the actions necessary to save people's lives. We must follow the health orders and take all necessary actions to stop the spread of this virus.

But as the health crisis deepens, the economic support available must change to save people's livelihoods. We must also cushion the financial blow, rather than leaving people and businesses to fend for themselves.

For the first time ever since the pandemic began, NSW has shut down its construction industry, costing the NSW economy at least $700 million per week. The jobs of at least 250,000 people are affected directly.

We need the Federal Government to re-introduce JobKeeper in New South Wales so businesses and workers can survive this lockdown. JobKeeper rescued the NSW economy last year. It protected people's jobs, boosted businesses' balance sheets, and sped up the economic recovery.

Re-instating JobKeeper would help alleviate the pressure on businesses, and reassure workers complying with stay-at-home orders that their jobs are secure, and will be there for them on the other side.

It will also remove the pressures for workers to use up their entitlements such as annual leave or long service leave while they cannot go to work. It's the fair thing to do, and it's the right thing to do. And the sooner adequate support flows to the people of New South Wales, the better.

Let's work together and keep supporting each other. We will get through this.