Gladstone’s industry a lifeline during COVID
CENTRAL Queensland cities that are less reliant on tourism haven't been hit as hard by COVID-19, suggests data based on the number of businesses accessing the JobKeeper subsidy.
New data from the Australian Treasury shows Queensland postcodes that typically attract a high number of international and domestic travellers have the most businesses accessing the payment.
In Gladstone, just over 900 businesses have signed up to access the subsidy, about 700 less than in Bundaberg to the south.
A total of 587 businesses have signed up in Rockhampton, with another 671 in the postcode that takes in nearby Berserker and 560 businesses in the postcode encompassing Gracemere and Alton Downs.
Announcing increased state funding for the Gladstone Regional Council last week, MP Glenn Butcher said that while the city's major industries had "continued to charge forward" through the pandemic, small to medium businesses had been seriously impacted.
"We've basically seen the main street here in Gladstone dead," he said.
"It's critical now that the people of Gladstone shop here in Gladstone."
As well as the Brisbane CBD (3048 businesses), Cairns (3607) and Surfers Paradise (2949) had among the highest application rates in the state, according to the April count.
The JobKeeper subsidy is due to wind up in September, and there have been calls to scale back relief for businesses on a case-by-case basis as industries recover and different rates.