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AFTA creates 'shovel ready' plan for travel industry

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has put together a package of additional economic support measures that it says the government must act on “to avoid the complete wipe-out of our industry”.

The “urgent economic measures” come as Australia’s travel sector fights for survival during an unprecedented suspension of international and domestic travel due to coronavirus. 


“We are facing a health and economic crisis of epic proportions,” AFTA CEO Jayson Westbury said. 


“The travel sector is hurting badly as a result of this civil war on common sense and travel agents are stuck in the middle and desperately need help to manage this cash crisis of catastrophic proportions.” 



Created on behalf of the 2,700-plus travel agencies in Australia, Mr Westbury said that the proposal is “not sector-specific”, which means if enacted, it would have “positive effects on every small and medium size business in Australia, allowing them to survive this once-in-a-generation emergency”. 


“While the first round of financial stimulus package announced last week is a step in the right direction, the Government must do more to provide immediate relief to struggling businesses in desperate need of cash flow,” he remarked.  


Westbury said the emergency support submission had been lodged with the Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit at Federal Treasury and that AFTA would be “lobbying hard to make sure every single politician understands why these measures must be enacted immediately”.  


“Our first priorities are to obtain a debt covenants guarantee, activate s524 of the Fair Work Act, and increase the immediate cash injections needed for businesses to keep employing people.”


You can check out the full package proposal here.


Today (Friday), the Australian Banking Association (ABA) announced that banks would defer loan repayments for small business affected by COVID-19 for six months. 


ABA CEO Anna Bligh said "the small business relief package would apply to more than $100 billion of existing small business loans and depending on customer take up, could put as much as $8 billion back into the pockets of small businesses as they battle through these difficult times".


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Written by: Mark Harada

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