The challenge for many flood-affected residents in the Northern Rivers is maintaining an income and the challenge for many employers is to hold on to staff.
Unions New South Wales has called on Scott Morrison to reintroduce JobKeeper for flood-affected regions, to bolster economic security and maintain the link between employer and employee.
JobKeeper was a payment designed to keep Australians in jobs by supporting COVID-affected businesses with payments of $1,500 per worker, per fortnight to cover the cost of wages.
Mr Morey said it should be reintroduced to any area where an emergency declaration had been made.
Incredible acts of bravery and solidarity
‘We saw incredible acts of bravery and solidarity over the last few weeks as Aussies rescued their neighbours using jet skis and speed boats. Now the Government needs to do its part by providing the financial support that allows people to get back on their feet.
‘The arguments that applied for COVID-affected workplaces also apply to flood-affected workplaces. We can’t allow otherwise-healthy businesses to fail because they’ve been hit by a crisis over which they had no control.
‘JobKeeper allowed COVID-affected businesses to explode out of the blocks when conditions improved. Workers and employers in areas of NSW including Richmond Valley, Lismore and Clarence Valley LGAs and flood-affected areas of Queensland need this support.
Emergency payments are short term measures
‘Emergency payments are short term measures. We need medium-term structural support, providing solid financial foundations.
‘One of the enduring lessons of COVID was just how important it is to maintain the link between the worker and employer. We need to keep that in mind now as we navigate this challenge and make sure working Australians don’t wear the brunt of this disaster.
‘Natural disasters are terrible but with determination and co-operation we can prevent them becoming social disasters.’