Qld council calls for JobKeeper extension

Robyn Wuth

A Queensland council says it needs the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme to be extended for a further nine months to March to help the region survive the economic fallout from COVID-19.

Cairns Regional Council fears the upcoming wet season, and its reliance on tourism and aviation mean the city's economic recovery will take longer than in other parts of the country.

"An extension of the JobKeeper payment has been identified as crucial to helping Cairns businesses survive this extended crisis," the council said in a statement.

In a submission to federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the council asked for the scheme be extended for the region until March.

The JobKeeper scheme was launched by the Morrison government to help millions of Australian workers through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The scheme is set for a September cut-off, but payments to 120,000 childcare workers will be cut months ahead of schedule.

The opposition fears other struggling sectors could soon be cut adrift.

The Transport Workers' Union is also calling for JobKeeper to be extended for aviation workers beyond September.