Release type: Transcript

Date:

Interview - Triple M Central Coast with Paddy & Rob

Ministers:

The Hon Stuart Robert MP
Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business

E&OE-------------------------------------

PADDY GERRARD:

We have got the Minister now, the Honourable Stuart Robert MP, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business. Stuart, good morning mate.
 
ROB PALMER:

Stuart?
 
MINISTER ROBERT:

How are you doing?
 
PADDY GERRARD:

Yeah, not too bad. Thank you for calling through. You are- what do businesses have to do if they have been in the three-week lockdown? What is priority for them to do on the Central Coast to get the $10,000?
 
MINISTER ROBERT:

In short, registrations open today through Services New South Wales, because New South Wales is running it. So, they need to register today and New South Wales will allow them to apply from next week. But the bottom line is if Central Coast businesses have seen a turndown of more than 30 per cent from the last couple of weeks based on the same period in 2019, they’ll be eligible.
 
PADDY GERRARD:

Right, what about individuals?
 
MINISTER ROBERT:

So, if you’re a sole trader – so, let’s say a chippie, plumber, builder – there’s the same eligibility there for a 30 per cent downturn, it’ll be a flat $1000 a week for those individuals.
 
PADDY GERRARD:

And in the- like, say if an individual worker at the coffee shop- all our coffee shops virtually have closed around the Central Coast. There are some offering takeaways. So, what does that worker do? What does Julie from the coffee shop do if she hasn’t worked in the last three weeks? When it comes to- does she have to have proof of her income from last year?
 
MINISTER ROBERT:

Nope, Julie can just go to myGov, my.gov.au, and apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Disaster Payment, which is- if she was working more than 20 hours a week, it’ll be 500 bucks a week; between eight and 20 hours, 325. Although now we’re at week 4, it goes to 600 bucks a week and 375 respectively depending upon hours. So, if you’re a business, it’s a small and medium enterprise support package run by Services New South Wales. If you’re a worker, Julie at the coffee shop, straight to myGov, and she can apply right now and be paid within a day.
 
ROB PALMER:

Is that back paid over the last three weeks she hasn’t worked?
 
MINISTER ROBERT:

That’s a very good question. It’ll be - on the basis of when she hasn’t worked - so, she would put the date in from when she is eligible, and she’d be paid from that date.
 
ROB PALMER:

Right. Okay, and if you’re a small business and you’ve applied for the grant and you’ve also got, say, three or four employees, which is a large number of small businesses on the coast, do they- do the employees get a benefit as well as the business? 
 
MINISTER ROBERT:

Well, if you think about Julie at the coffee shop, let’s say the coffee shop has put off Julie and three of her workmates because they were casual, then they would apply to Services Australia to get the COVID Disaster Payment. But let’s say Julie and her three staff were permanent employees and the coffee shop wanted to keep them connected to the business, that’s when the business would apply and get 40 per cent of its payroll provided to them because they’re doing less hours. So that is the small to medium business support package design, if you’re still trading but your turnover is declined below 30 per cent. But if you’re flat out- if your staff have all been put off, that’s when the staff would apply individually.
 
PADDY GERRARD:

We’re with Stuart Robert MP, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business. Stuart, mate, we’re getting news this morning that the Premier might announce that there could be another four-week lockdown. God, we hope it doesn’t go that way. If the lockdown continues, say, for one week or two weeks, are these financial services still available through the course of the lockdown?
 
MINISTER ROBERT:

Yeah, they are. What we’ve built it out is that it’s a nationwide - just the New South Wales is unfortunately the first recipient. So, from week four of any lockdown, these services are available. Now, if the lockdown goes for four weeks or heaven forbid longer, they’ll all be there, all those services will be available for as long as is needed to back in the businesses on the Central Coast. And again, I’d encourage businesses, connect with Lucy Wicks who’s your local federal member. She is an absolute cracker and is there to answer any questions or provide any support.
 
ROB PALMER:

Yeah. And look, Service New South Wales are going to be expecting massive traffic today with everyone applying for this. Is it going to be able to cope?
 
MINISTER ROBERT:

Look, I suspect so. I’m not responsible for Service New South Wales’ site. So, Services Australia – so the myGov site – it can handle 500,000 concurrent users, so it’s designed to get smashed. I’m sure Service New South Wales will handle it. Victor Dominello is the Minister, and he’s a good guy.
 
PADDY GERRARD:

So basically, businesses, go to Service New South Wales. Individuals, myGov – you’ll see the banner come up – and get that cash into your bank account within a day. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you, Stuart, thanks for letting our listeners know and giving the information required.
 
MINISTER ROBERT:

Anytime. Take care. Cheers.
 
PADDY GERRARD:

Thank you. Stuart Robert MP, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business.