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Aussie postcodes most at risk from JobKeeper deadline

Lucy Dean
·2-min read
People queue up outside a Centrelink office in Melbourne on April 20, 2020, which delivers a range of government payments and services for retirees, the unemployed, families, carers and parents amongst others. - A report from the Grattan Institute predicts between 14 and 26 per cent of Australian workers could be out of work as a direct result of the coronavirus shutdown, and the crisis will have an enduring impact on jobs and the economy for years to come. (Photo by William WEST / AFP) (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)
People queue up outside a Centrelink office in Melbourne on April 20, 2020. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

The JobKeeper program is set to finish in September 2020, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison not yet sharing details on what future support schemes will look like.

Around 844,000 businesses have accessed JobKeeper, subsidising or replacing the wages of 3.5 million Australian workers, and for many Australian businesses, the September deadline is a worrying prospect.

Morrison himself has noted the end of the scheme will see some businesses “never open again”, while others have warned more than 800 “zombie businesses” will collapse if the end is an abrupt “cliff”.

In a bid to convince the government to extend the scheme, the Labor party has set up a new website to highlight the areas most at risk from a hard JobKeeper deadline. Users are encouraged to enter their postcode to see how many businesses and workers in their area are receiving $1,500 wage subsidies.

“More Australian workers and small businesses risk being left behind if Scott Morrison and the Liberals cancel the $1500 fortnightly JobKeeper wage subsidy too early,” the Labor website reads.

In the Sydney CBD postcode of 2000, up to 10,290 businesses and 39,102 local workers could be affected by a sharp end to JobKeeper, the website reports, based on Treasury data released in June.

And in the Melbourne CBD postcode of 3000, up to 25,433 workers employed by 6,693 businesses will be affected by a sudden end to support payments.

New research released by consulting firm Taylor Fry warned inner-city workers will likely be hardest hit by the economic fallout of the virus.

“You can‘t pretend that it’s all okay, because it’s not,” Labor leader Anthony Albanese said on Friday.

He said Australia needs to have a transition and jobs strategy.

“The government also has to be clearer about what its plan is for economic growth and jobs into the future.”

Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg have said more details will be shared in a major economic update on 23 July, but the Prime Minister has already confirmed some form of support payments will continue beyond the hard deadline as Victoria battles a catastrophic surge in cases.

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