JOBKEEPER DATA REVEALED: More than 260 businesses in the North Burnett applied for the JobKeeper subsidy in April during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture Glenn Hampson
JOBKEEPER DATA REVEALED: More than 260 businesses in the North Burnett applied for the JobKeeper subsidy in April during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture Glenn Hampson

REVEALED: North Burnett businesses relying on JobKeeper

MORE than 260 businesses in the North Burnett applied for the JobKeeper lifeline during the coronavirus pandemic.

Exclusive Treasury data revealed the most hard hit regions in Queensland, during what was an unprecedented time for Australian business owners and workers.

The North Burnett had 269 businesses apply for wage subsidies in April, citing economic hardship suffered due to government restrictions.

Gayndah won out as the town with the most JobKeeper applications, with a mammoth 71 wage subsidies.

Mt Perry wasn’t far behind on 70 applications, Mundubbera 51, Monto 44, and Biggenden with 33.

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Employees around Australia found themselves in a predicament as they quickly found out they couldn’t qualify for subsidy payments.

This was due to the fact they hadn’t worked for their employers for more than 12 months.

Several businesses in the region who secured JobKeeper payments included the Albert Hotel in Monto, and the Star Hotel Eidsvold.

Star Hotel bartender Lani Reid was not successful in her application back in April, having worked at the pub for less than a year.

“I originally moved down here to find a job during the wet season as I was previously working on cattle stations in the Kimberly,” Ms Reid said.

“I was only planning on staying here for a little bit but I thought the place was perfect, and they offered me work until August.”

Ms Reid found out about the pub closures on social media that month, saying she felt ill after hearing the Prime Minister’s address.

Star Hotel publican Kinta Gitsham and bartender Lani Reid announcing the closure of the popular North Burnett pub. Picture: Sam Turner
Star Hotel publican Kinta Gitsham and bartender Lani Reid announcing the closure of the popular North Burnett pub. Picture: Sam Turner

“I felt sick when I heard that,” she said.

“Now what am I meant to do?”

Businesses in the neighbouring shire of the South Burnett had 359 businesses apply for government aid during the same period.

This was nowhere near Cairns, with data revealing it had the most workers on the subsidy in Queensland on 525 applications.

The Brisbane CBD had the next highest number of JobKeeper recipients, followed by Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.

Under the subsidy scheme, workers receive a fortnightly payment of $1500 through their employers, with the wage available from March 30 to September 27.

More than 160,000 Queensland businesses have signed up to the scheme, designed to keep staff members on the payroll during the pandemic lockdown.

There are 844,000 businesses nationwide on the scheme, with the Treasury estimating it covers 3.5 million Australians.


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