House debates

Monday, 7 December 2020

Statements by Members

COVID-19: Travel Agents

4:16 pm

Photo of Ken O'DowdKen O'Dowd (Flynn, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to talk about the travel agents COVID support package.

A division having been called in the House of Representatives—

Sitting suspended from 16 : 16 to 16 : 28

For some time now I have been speaking with travel agents in my electorate, including Mark Winters and Phil Kelly of Departure Point in Gladstone; Leisa Davis of Helloworld in Gladstone, Biloela and Rockhampton; Jo Maguire of Helloworld in Emerald; and Wendy Mulry Travel in Rockhampton. Each agent told me of their financial struggles as a result of COVID-19.

Last week the federal government announced a one-off payment to assist travel agents. The payment is based on turnover. This is to help travel agents continue to process customer refunds, pay back commissions and recoup lost rent and wages, which will help in the industry recovery process. The Australian Federation of Travel Agents, AFTA, has welcomed the announcement. I also know that it is welcomed by the travel agents and providers in my electorate of Flynn. I want to give a big thank you to the Morrison-McCormack government for helping these small businesses. Some were on the brink of bankruptcy through no fault of their own.