South Australian’s regions are again second best when it comes to State government support to business affected by restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Member for Frome Geoff Brock MP.
Mr Brock said although he applauded the Great State Voucher scheme, he was disappointed that following his request to the Premier last month, that the newest round of vouchers had not included a targeted allocation for regional tourism.
“Regional businesses and residents are feeling the strain brought about by the shifting sands surrounding pandemic restrictions,” Mr Brock said.
“The new allocation of vouchers, which focus on Adelaide’s Central Business District, have again ignored regional communities.”
Mr Brock said that $100 vouchers were available for Adelaide-based tourism businesses, while only half that amount – $50 – was allocated for each voucher to be used for regional accommodation.
“Restrictions for the hospitality industry, particularly over the busy holiday period, have taken their toll and our regions are vulnerable right now.”
Mr Brock said he believed the regions were undervalued and there was a lack of understanding of how tough it had been for tourism business owners and those in the hospitality sector to keep their doors open.
“I know the Adelaide CBD businesses have been suffering, but so have those in the regions, no matter what the statistics say.
“I hear from constituents daily as they tell me of their struggles to pay their employees and run their businesses, and initiatives like the Great State Vouchers would certainly help stimulate our regional economies.”
The scheme has already brought an estimated economic impact of more than $90 million to South Australia’s ailing tourism industry.