Wednesday, 17 June 2020
Canning Electorate: JobKeeper Payment
I rise to update this House on the success of the JobKeeper program in my electorate. New data from Treasury estimates that 3,300 businesses in Canning are benefitting from the program. I have spoken to a number of businessowners who signed up to the program during the pandemic, and they've told me that JobKeeper has allowed them to retain their staff and keep their doors open. For instance, Adam Lewis, the owner of Bridgestone Select Tyre & Auto in Mandurah had one of his toughest months in April. His workers had to drop to a four-day work week to prevent staff lay-offs. Once the business became eligible, Adam signed up to JobKeeper. He told me the program has given him security and assurance that he would be able to pay his workers at a time when business was at an all-time low. Now, Adam says, he is busier than ever. He's hired another staff member to work the front desk because of the increase in business, and may even have to look for another employee for the workshop.
Edward Janiec is the owner of Murphy's Irish Pub in Mandurah, which won the Irish International Hospitality Award last year. When COVID-19 hit, Edward could only retain 16 core members of his staff of 50. When JobKeeper was introduced, he was able to keep those 16 staff members employed part-time for nine weeks over the course of the pandemic. Because pubs were closed under COVID-19 restrictions, Edward used his staff to do some renovating and other projects in the pub. Employees who used to work as chefs and managers enjoyed repainting, sanding back and restoring old furniture, and general maintenance to improve the presentation in readiness for reopening. In renovating and improving the pub, Edward told me he spent $25,000 at local hardware stores and services. Edward was able to open his pub last week as restrictions eased in WA, and is doing two sittings of 100 at both lunch and dinner. Even with 400 patrons a day, he has to turn away customers and has employed another eight casuals due to the workload. He's looking forward to restrictions being lifted and returning to full capacity.
Nourishing the Soul Cafe in Dudley Park thought they would have to let their staff go when restrictions were placed on dining in. When the owner, Paige, found out the business was eligible she signed up to the JobKeeper program. She was able to keep most of her staff on and keep the cafe open, offering takeaway meals and coffees to keep her business running.
There's no doubt that many businesses are still doing it tough. I encourage everyone to support their local economy where they can, and I thank the Morrison government for supporting businessowners and their staff in my electorate throughout the pandemic.