22.6 C
Byron Shire
January 31, 2023

Local Mayors and MPs call for JobKeeper extension for Northern Rivers

Latest News

Medicinal cannabis; a better way forward

For the first time ever, I am living my truths and no one is trying to hurt me because of it. This is a much better way. 

Other News

Old ANZ Mullum

The old ANZ Bank building on Burringbar Street in Mullum is now a bathhouse; such yuppy city indulgence to...

Big centuries scored across the region as cricket season builds

Alstonville has come off second best to Tintenbar East Ballina in their two-day match at Hill Park Oval in the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League, thanks to a century from Abe Crawford. TEB chose to bowl and it didn’t take long for their first strike as Alstonville opener Ryan Pearce was trapped lbw for a third-ball duck.

Big cheque for WardellCORE

This week, Wardell's Community Organised Resilience Effort was awarded $10,000 by Southern Cross Credit Union to start a community garden program.

Interested in starting a business along the Tweed rail trail?

People interested in starting a business along the Tweed section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail can now register their interest in joining the Rail Trail Partner Program.

NSW Greens commit to Truth and Treaty to mark 235 years since invasion

The Greens have announced their plans for Truth-telling, Treaty and dedicated seats in both houses of the NSW Parliament ahead of the 235th anniversary of British invasion in NSW. 

One in six older Australians experience elder abuse – what can you do?

An aging population is seeing up to one in six elderly Australians now experiencing elder abuse according to a...

Lismore Cr Vanessa Ekins. Photo David Lowe.

The call by Byron Shire Council Mayor Simon Richardson for area specific JobKeeper extensions have been supported by Lismore City Council Mayor Vanessa Ekins, Ballina MP Tamara Smith (Green), Lismore MP Janelle Saffin (Labor) and Federal Richmond MP Justine Elliot (Labor).

Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson. Photo Eve Jeffery

Mayor Richardson made the call for more support in the region following the cancellation of the Bluesfest 2021 as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) following the visit of a hens party to Byron Bay that had members test positive for COVID-19. This was followed by one case of community transmission.

More than 1.5 million people will have their JobSeeker payment reduced because the government decided to withdraw the covid supplement. This is after acknowledging a year ago the payment was inadequate,’ said Mayor Ekins.

‘People who are already struggling will find it harder to feed their family, provide medication and pay critical bills. JobSeeker must be increased above the poverty line. These are families who keep our economy going by buying shoes for their children, visit the dentist, shop locally for food. 

‘It is essential the government funds an increase to JobSeeker and supports small business with continued JobKeeper.’

Ballina MP Tamara Smith.

This sentiment was echoed by Ms Smith who told The Echo that ‘I support the Mayor’s call but I think we are not the only regional area needing an extension of JobKeeper.

‘I’m calling for JobKeeper to be extended across the country and particularly because of the vulnerability of regional areas. With forecasts of 150,000 people being thrown into unemployment as a result of the cut to JobKeeper, with regional areas disproportionately affected, now is not the time to throw people to the wolves.’

State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin. Photo Tree Faerie.

Ms Saffin has told The Echo that she did not believe that JobKeeper should have ended so soon while her Federal counterpart Justine Elliot said ‘The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for our local economy and the recent cutting of JobKeeper only makes this situation worse’.

‘I’m continuing to call on the Morrison Government to urgently extend JobKeeper and to deliver a specific regional financial package to help our local businesses,’ Ms Elliot told The Echo.

Federal Member for Richmond, Justine Elliot. Photo supplied.

‘At the end of March there were more than 4,200 businesses in the electorate of Richmond that were dependent on JobKeeper. This was keeping local workers in jobs and local businesses trading.

‘It was Labor who originally called for these wage subsidies when the pandemic first hit, and Labor Leader Anthony Albanese and I have consistently continued to call for support that’s tailored to specific areas.

‘The industries that were hardest hit in our region include those in retail, tourism, hospitality and the arts. Many of them were heavily dependent upon international tourism and were immediately impacted when the pandemic hit.

‘All the that Scott Morison has offered is a half-baked plan to provide half-price airfares, but even then it’s only for a select few areas.

‘The Ballina-Byron region, which has been hit hard by the lack of international tourists, has been completely forgotten, and this is totally unacceptable. Local jobs and businesses are suffering, and this is yet another blow from this government.

‘My number one priority is local jobs, so I’m continuing to call on the Morrison government to provide urgent financial support for our area. The Morrison Government must provide an extension to JobKeeper and targeted support to keep people in jobs and to keep our businesses going,’ Justine said.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Why do Labor and the Greens still want our country to have a two-tiered welfare system for the unemployed, with some unemployed people getting more income support via Jobkeeper while others get less income support via Jobseeker? Do they see this as “social justice”?

  2. What a croc, what data do you have to prove Byron has been hit hard by lack of international tourists? The Australians travelling to the region due to land locks have kept it booked out continually.
    Go talk to wait staff for 5 minutes over not having any down time during winter months and never seeing such swelling of people.
    Enough spending already but i suppose its typical labour mantra


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Saint Bob of the Greens in Lennox Head

With hardly a vacant seat in the auditorium, Bob Brown kept the party faithful’s eyes, ears and hearts glued to the stage on Saturday...

Environment law fails to protect threatened species

A University of Queensland finding says that the federal environmental laws are failing to mitigate against Australia’s extinction crisis.

Dr Philip Nitschke to visit Lismore

Controversial founder and director of the pro-euthanasia group Exit International, Dr Philip Nitschke will hold a free public meeting on NSW’s new Voluntary Assisted Dying Act at the Lismore Workers Club on Saturday.

Old ANZ Mullum

The old ANZ Bank building on Burringbar Street in Mullum is now a bathhouse; such yuppy city indulgence to far removed from being authentic...