'Livelihoods are at risk': NT Senator Malarndirri McCarthy calls for JobKeeper extension

NT Senator Malarndirri McCarthy says Scott Morrison is leaving the tourism sector behind and putting jobs at risk.
NT Senator Malarndirri McCarthy says Scott Morrison is leaving the tourism sector behind and putting jobs at risk.

JobKeeper is set to end in four weeks, and while the number of Australians receiving the payment continues to drop, one key Northern Territory industry is at risk, according to NT Senator Malarndirri McCarthy.

During Parliament yesterday, Ms McCarthy said that data from December showed almost 2,000 Territory businesses were still receiving JobKeeper.

But with payments set to cease on March 28, despite pleas from these industries, Ms McCarthy said workers in the tourism industry in particular are "becoming increasingly anxious" about whether they will still have a job following the end date.

"Scott Morrison is leaving the tourism sector behind and putting jobs at risk by ignoring industry pleas for support beyond the end of JobKeeper," she said.

"The Morrison government has no plan for jobs ... people's livelihoods are at risk."

Ms McCarthy pointed to figures from the president of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents, Darren Rudd, who has previously warned that, once JobKeeper ends, eight out of 10 people still working in travel will be out of a job, 30 per cent of businesses will close and 52 per cent will be at risk if support is not extended again beyond March 28.

"The tourism industry in the Northern Territory relies heavily on casual workers for human resources, and casual workers rely heavily on the tourism sector for work," Ms McCarthy said.

"Northern Territory government investment through tourism vouchers, Roadhouse to Recovery grants and the Visitor Experience Enhancement Program, as well as the federal government's JobKeeper scheme, have helped the local tourism sector survive.

It has also created a false positive, which will soon run out.

NT Senator Malarndirri McCarthy

With the scheme's end date looming, Ms McCarthy said she is calling on the Morrison Government to provide Territorians with certainty.

"The Prime Minister is not on the side of travel agents and tourism workers," she said.

"He is leaving them to go it alone while he focuses on photo ops and announcements and never delivers.

"Just have a look at the rush that he made to Kakadu just over two years ago, and we're still waiting. Australians in insecure work or looking for work are anguished by the uncertainty and they cannot plan for their future."

This story Key industry on the brink when Jobseeker ends: Senator first appeared on Katherine Times.