Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Covid-19 disaster payments to be available to Queenslanders amid lockdown

Queenslanders who lose work due to the southeast’s snap three-day lockdown will be able to apply for financial support. Finance Minister Simon Birmingham confirmed the Commonwealth assistance would be made available to millions of impacted residents in the 11 local government areas ordered to stay home from 4pm on Saturday.

Just a few days after it was revealed the disaster relief payments would be boosted in the wake of the extended lockdown in NSW, Queenslanders will be eligible to receive $750 per week if they lose 20 hours or more of work due to the lockdown.

For those who lose between eight and 20 hours, $450 will be handed out.

The Morrison government and Labor state premiers had publicly clashed over order stay-at-home directives throughout the pandemic. Still, Mr. Birmingham said the highly contagious variant devastating NSW had changed the way leaders approached Covid-19 policy.

“We recognize the Delta strain is highly transmissible, that it is 100 percent more transmissible than the types of Covid-19 we’ve dealt with last year, and the right thing is to go in early, go in hard and get on top of it,” he told reporters on Saturday afternoon.

The finance minister said the trigger to make payments available for those in Queensland’s southeast was the area being declared a hotspot by federal chief medical officer Paul Kelly, which Mr. Birmingham assured would happen at some stage on Saturday.

He said Scott Morrison and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had already spoken, and both agreed the snap lockdown was the best course of action.

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