NSW hospitality voucher rollout imminent

·2-min read

The NSW government's hospitality voucher scheme will be rolled out to all residents by month's end.

The Dine and Discover scheme gives adult residents four $25 vouchers to spend - two for local hospitality venues and two for cultural venues.

It comes after a two-stage pilot program which included businesses in Sydney's The Rocks precinct and Broken Hill, followed by the Sydney CBD, Sydney's northern beaches and the Bega Valley.

The $500 million scheme was the centrepiece of the government's November budget, aiming to get more people spending amid COVID-19.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Friday the scheme was a "win-win" for businesses and residents and would boost economic activity.

Ms Berejiklian said this was particularly important as the federal JobKeeper wage subsidy program concludes on March 28.

"It allows us to grow into the future and grow, protect jobs," she told reporters.

"We know we need to keep on this journey to make sure we support our citizens moving through the next 24 months.

"We're also confident that through the targeted measures we have, we're supporting the communities we think will get hit hardest."

Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said the vouchers would be accessible from the Service NSW app, and downloadable as a QR code.

That QR code is then presented to businesses enrolled in the program.

He encouraged NSW residents to spend more than $25 on their four hospitality and cultural visits and make the program a "co-contribution".

"That's the beauty of the design of this - so far the average spend is about $40 (and) that means it's not a $500 million package, it's really closer to a $900 million package," Mr Dominello told reporters on Friday.

"You can have a genuine partnership with the community."

There will be a map on the Service NSW app displaying eligible businesses.

Peak business lobby group Business NSW has encouraged businesses in the hospitality, entertainment and tourism sectors to register for the program.

Local peak body Business Sydney on Friday also said the rollout was timely.

"The CBD will be among the hardest hit when JobKeeper ends, with over 20,000 businesses with a registered head office in the City of Sydney still receiving it, more than any local government area in Australia," Business Sydney executive director Katherine O'Regan said.

"Bringing more business to cultural institutions, tourist attractions or hospitality venues will help keep them afloat and people in jobs."

It comes after the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed on Friday the NSW unemployment rate in February was 5.6 per cent, down from 6.0 per cent.