Category: Media Releases

$600 million package to help Queensland businesses




The Commonwealth and Queensland Governments have reached a 50/50 funding agreement that will see the value of the Queensland COVID-19 Business Support Grants rise from $260 million to $600 million.

As part of the package additional support for businesses that have had a decline in turnover of more than 30 per cent will include:

  • A $1,000 one-off grant to non-employing sole traders across Queensland that have had a decline in turnover of more than 30 per cent.
  • Payroll-based support for all businesses across Queensland, that have had a decline in turnover of more than 30 per cent.
    • A $5,000 one-off, top-up grant to small business with payroll of less than $1.3 million
    • A $10,000 one-off, top-up grant to medium sized business with payroll between $1.3 million and $10 million
    • A $25,000 one-off, top-up grant to large sized tourism and hospitality focused businesses only with payroll of greater than $10 million.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said this new business support package recognises that the impact of lockdowns is felt right across Australia.

“The Morrison Government recognises the impact that lockdowns across the country are having on businesses in Queensland,” Treasurer Frydenberg said.

“This package will help to keep businesses in business and Queenslanders in jobs and builds on the almost $30 billion in economic support the Morrison Government has provided Queensland households and businesses during the pandemic.”

“As we have done so throughout this crisis, we will continue to work with the Palaszczuk Government to ensure the Queensland economy continues to recover from the impact of COVID-19.”

Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Investment Cameron Dick said the agreement would boost support, not just for businesses that have been affected by recent lockdowns, but by those that continue to suffer because of lockdowns in other jurisdictions.

“We know that across Queensland, the lack of international and interstate visitors is affecting businesses every day, especially those in tourism and hospitality,” Treasurer Dick said.

“This dollar-for-dollar agreement with the Federal Government will see Queensland’s contribution rise to $300 million and vastly increase the scope of support available to businesses right across the state.”

“From Monday 16 August, our $5000 COVID-19 Business Support Grants program will be open to businesses across Queensland, but this agreement with the Federal Government is in addition to that and means that we will be able to extend our support even further.”

“It comes on top of the nearly $70 million in additional support and benefits for Queensland tourism and hospitality businesses that I announced earlier this week.”

“I want to thank Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg for his rapid response to the evolving impact that COVID-19 is having on businesses right across Queensland.”

Full details about the program can be accessed at

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Government tells big tech to put safety first


8 AUGUST 2021

Social media and tech companies will be expected to protect their users from online harms such as
bullying and cyber abuse under a new set of Basic Online Safety Expectations (BOSE) released for
public consultation today by the Morrison Government.

Following the passage in June of the tough new Online Safety Act 2021, Australians are now
encouraged to have their say on the BOSE, which sets out a series of demands to big tech that reflect
how the community expects to be kept safe online.

Under the BOSE, online providers will be subject to core expectations, additional expectation and
reasonable steps to ensure the safety of users on their platforms. While core expectations include
taking actions to deal with longstanding harms such as cyberbullying or kids accessing violent
material, reasonable steps could include actions against such emerging risks such as ‘volumetric
attacks’ where ‘digital lynch mobs’ seek to overwhelm a victim with abuse; or that products for
children have the highest privacy and safety settings set as default.

Other expectations include:

  • That providers take steps to prevent children accessing class 2 material such as R18+ content;
  • That services do more to prevent unlawful or harmful material on anonymous accounts;
  • That providers take steps against cyber-bullying, non-consensual intimate images of a person
    and promotion, incitement or instruction in abhorrent violent conduct; and
  • That users have clear ways to make reports or complaints to services.

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner will have the power to order tech companies to report on how they
are responding to these harms and issue hefty fines of up to $555,000 if they don’t respond.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP,
said online safety was a priority of the Government: “We we will always fight to protect all Australians, but
especially children, from online harm and we expect big tech to step up and deliver on these expectations.”

Consultation is now open for all Australians to have your say on the proposed BOSE. After
considering feedback, the Minister will make the final BOSE in early 2022. Submissions are open until
Friday 15 October 2021.

More information, including how to participate, is available at
Media contact:
Imre Salusinszky | 0432 535 737 |
Erin Forster | 0448 207 414 |

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Veterans Affairs Legislation Amendment Bill 2020

9 November 2020: Hon. Luke Howarth, Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services speaks in Parliament regarding the Veterans Affairs Legislation Amendment Bill.

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The Morrison Government’s Economic Recovery Plan for Australia will create jobs, rebuild our economy and secure Australia’s future, including in Petrie.

Under our plan, taxpayers in Petrie will get a tax cut backdated to 1 July this year.

“This means more money in the pockets of local households to assist with the cost of living, but also to help generate economic activity and create jobs,” Luke Howarth, Member for Petrie said.

The Budget announcements build on the Morrison Government’s unprecedented investment in the health and economic response to COVID-19.

By bringing the Budget back to balance for the first time in 11 years and maintaining our AAA credit rating we entered the crisis from a position of economic strength, providing us with the fiscal firepower to respond when we needed it most.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the Government has provided $257 billion in direct economic support to cushion the blow and strengthen the recovery.

The 2020-21 Budget commits a further $98 billion including: $25 billion in direct COVID-19 response measures and $74 billion in new measures to create jobs.

“We’re supporting Australians to get back to work and businesses to rebuild, grow, and create jobs”,Luke Howarth, Member for Petrie said.

The JobMaker Hiring Credit will be payable immediately to employers who hire eligible employees.

This Budget is investing a record amount in skills and training to make sure Petrie job seekers have the skills they need to get a job.

Luke Howarth, said, “we are also further assisting first home buyers and the construction sector by extending the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme to another 10,000 places and providing an additional $1 billion of low cost finance to support the construction of affordable housing”.

The Morrison Government is investing in our sovereign manufacturing capability to ensure we have an internationally competitive and resilient manufacturing sector, and in the process create more high value jobs”.

Further, our incentives for businesses to invest in their business will create more economic activity and jobs in the Petrie community.

Tax relief for Petrie businesses includes allowing 99 per cent of businesses to deduct the full cost of depreciable assets in the year they are installed, and allowing companies with a turnover of up to $5 billion to offset losses against previous profits on which tax has been paid to generate a refund.

“We will also simplify access to credit for households and small businesses, to support the economic recovery”, Luke Howarth said.

The Morrison Government is also delivering record infrastructure investment, expanding our record 10-year infrastructure pipeline to $110 billion, and supporting a further 40,000 jobs nationally. The Budget also includes a $2 billion investment in road safety upgrades to save lives and an additional $1 billion to support local councils to immediately upgrade local roads, footpaths and street lighting to create jobs now.

Luke Howarth, Member for Petrie said the Morrison Government’s Economic Recovery Plan for Australia will create jobs, rebuild our economy and secure Australia’s future.

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Budget 2020-21: Economic Recovery Plan for Australia

This years budget is the most important since WWII. It outlines our economic recovery plan to create jobs, to rebuild our economy and secure Australia’s future. Here’s what it includes.



Economic environment

  • COVID-19 has resulted in the most severe global economic crisis since the Great Depression.
  • In response, the Morrison Government has committed unprecedented support.
  • JobKeeper is a $101 billion lifeline that is supporting around 3.5 million Australian jobs.
  • JobSeeker doubled the safety net.
  • Together, the Government’s actions saved 700,000 jobs.
  • The Australian economy is now fighting back.
  • The Budget sets out the Morrison Government’s economic recovery plan.


Jobmaker Hiring Credit

  • A new JobMaker Hiring Credit will encourage businesses to hire younger Australians.
  • The JobMaker Hiring Credit will be payable for up to twelve months and immediately available to employers who hire those on JobSeeker aged 16-35.
  • It will be paid at the rate of $200 per week for those aged under 30, and $100 per week for those aged between 30 and 35. New hires must work for at least 20 hours a week.
  • Treasury estimates that this will support around 450,000 jobs for young people.


Investing in skills and training

  • 100,000 new apprenticeships and traineeships will be supported with a 50% wage subsidy for businesses who employ them.
  • This is in addition to the 180,000 existing apprenticeships and trainees that are being protected.
  • The new JobTrainer fund will create up to 340,000 free or low-cost training places for school leavers and job seekers.
  • 50,000 new higher education short courses will be available, including in agriculture, health, IT, science and teaching.


Tax relief for workers

  • More than 11 million taxpayers will get a tax cut backdated to 1 July this year.
  • Lower and middle-income earners will this year receive tax relief of up to $2,745 compared with 2017-18.
  • These changes mean more than 7 million Australians will receive tax relief of $2,000 or more this year.
  • This rewards hard work. It means Australians will have more of their own money to spend on what matters to them, which will help local businesses and create 50,000 new jobs.


Kick starting investment

  • The Morrison Government is building on the successful Instant Asset Write Off.
  • Over 99% of businesses will be able to write off the full value of any eligible asset, until June 2022.
  • This will expand Australia’s productive capacity and create tens of thousands of jobs.
  • For example, it means a trucking company can upgrade their fleet, a farmer can buy a new harvester and a manufacturer can expand their production line.


Manufacturing and Research & Development

  • Manufacturing employs around 860,000 Australians.
  • The Modern Manufacturing plan will target six national manufacturing priorities:
    • food and beverage manufacturing;
    • resources technology and critical minerals processing;
    • medical products;
    • recycling and clean energy;
    • defence industry; and
    • space industry.
  • The Morrison Government is also providing $1 billion for new research funding for our universities.


Building infrastructure

  • Rebuilding our economy includes building more roads, rail and bridges.
  • The Budget is expanding our record 10 year infrastructure pipeline which is already supporting 100,000 jobs on worksites across Australia today.
  • A further $14 billion in new and accelerated infrastructure projects will support a further 40,000 jobs.
  • A further $2 billion is being invested in road safety upgrades, together with an additional $1 billion to support local councils to upgrade local roads, footpaths and street lighting.


Recovery in our regions

The Budget will support regional Australia’s economic recovery by providing:

  • $2 billion in concessional loans to help farmers overcome the drought;
  • Funding to support regional tourism;
  • A further round of the Building Better Regions Fund;
  • $317 million for Australian exporters to continue to access global supply chains
  • $2 billion in new funding will build vital water infrastructure as part of our national water grid including dams, weirs and pipelines.


Increasing home ownership

  • An additional 10,000 first home buyers will be able to purchase a new home sooner under our First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.
  • This builds on the 20,000 first home buyers we are helping to purchase a home this year with a deposit as low as 5% under this Scheme.
  • An additional $1 billion of low cost finance will support construction of affordable housing, taking total concessional finance available to community housing providers to $3 billion.


Guaranteeing health care

  • The Budget delivers record funding for health of $93.8 billion in 2020-21, an increase of almost 43% since 2014-15.
  • Extending Medicare subsidised telehealth services has enabled over 30 million consultations since the crisis began.
  • This Budget includes funding for new lifesaving medicines on the PBS – to treat leukaemia, melanoma and Parkinson’s disease and help women with ovarian cancer.
  • This year, $5.7 billion is being provided to support mental health, including funding for critical front line services and suicide prevention.


Supporting senior Australians

  • To support Age Pensioners, the Government provided $750 payments in April and July.
  • Age Pensioners will now receive an additional $250 payment in December and another $250 payment in March.
  • To support senior Australians who want to keep living at home, 23,000 more home care packages will be provided.
  • This brings the total to more than 180,000 places, three times the number of home care packages than in 2013.


Protecting our environment

  • This Budget includes $1.8 billion in funding for the environment. This will help our wildlife recover from bushfires and protect and enhance our natural environment.
  • This includes $233 million in funding to upgrade facilities in Uluru, Kakadu, Christmas Island and Booderee National Park.
  • This Budget is investing $250 million to modernise our recycling infrastructure, stop more than 600,000 tonnes of waste ending up in landfill and create a further 10,000 jobs.


View a statistic version of the 2020-21 Budget Snapshot PDF here.

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Luke Howarth: Delivering for Petrie

6 October 2020: Hon. Luke Howarth, Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services speaks in Parliament.

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More opportunities for regional students in Petrie.

Member for Petrie Hon Luke Howarth said the Government’s $400 million investment in regional education would boost opportunities for students in Petrie to attend university and support regional university campuses.

The initiatives announced today represent a key part of the Government’s delivery of the recommendations made in the National Regional, Rural and Remote Education Strategy.

“Our Government’s new package will give students in Petrie the opportunity to study closer to home, help students to meet the costs of studying away from home, and build the research capacity of regional universities,” Mr Howarth said.

As part of the package, students and universities in Petrie could benefit from:

  • $5,000 to students from outer regional and remote areas to help pay the relocation costs when they move to study a Certificate IV qualification or higher, as well as improvements to Fares Allowance.
  • $500 million to universities for programs that support Indigenous, regional and low SES students.
  • $48.8 million to fund collaboration between regional universities, industry and other higher education partners.
  • $21 million to establish additional Regional University Centres.
  • 3.5 per cent growth in additional Commonwealth Grant Scheme funding to regional and remote university campuses.
  • Demand-driven funding to support more Indigenous students from regional and remote communities to go to university.

“We will also appoint a Regional Education Commissioner to drive the Napthine reforms and support the implementation of the Government’s Regional Education Strategy,” Mr Howarth said.

“Our package provides additional support for Australians in regional, rural and remote Australia to have access to a world-class education.

“There are great incentives for students to engage in further study, as well as additional support for USC Moreton Bay as we continue to unlock the potential of Petrie.”

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A new $1.5 billion Australian Government infrastructure package will provide an immediate injection into the economy and bring jobs back online to help stem the impact of COVID-19 Federal Member for Petrie, Luke Howarth said getting shovels in the ground on local construction projects was important for maintaining jobs and economic growth in the area.

“The Federal Government has committed $12.3 million for the Gateway Flyover Project which will benefit local commuters and boost jobs in Petrie.”

“The Gateway flyover at Gympie Arterial Road, will connect the Gateway Motorway to the Bruce Highway Northbound at Bald Hills getting the 40,000 vehicles that use this bridge home sooner and safer every day.”

“Every single job that we support makes a huge difference in our local communities – now and as we navigate out of the pandemic,” Mr Howarth said.

“These types of infrastructure projects will be also particularly crucial for helping us bounce back after the COVID-19 crisis has ended by ensuring we have the safe transport connections needed for all Australians to keep moving.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the new package would fund shovel-ready infrastructure projects that can support local jobs immediately.

“This funding will deliver critical infrastructure projects right across the country to help keep construction businesses running and people in jobs,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“$1 billion of this package will fund projects that can get underway now and over the next six months, to give an immediate boost to the economy and local jobs – right at the time we need it.

“We will work together with the states and territories to deliver these job-creating priority projects, building on our unprecedented cooperation to date through the National Cabinet of States and Territories.”

“The package also includes a $500 million Targeted Road Safety Works initiative for states and territories to deliver smaller but critical projects to improve road safety and bolster the resilience of our local road networks.

“The Government has already announced $500 million for local governments to support projects such as road safety improvements, maintaining community infrastructure and increasing accessibility.

“This is part of our $100 billion, 10-year infrastructure pipeline, which is laying the foundations of a financial bridge to recovery on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis.”

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the $1.5 billion package, combined with the additional funding to local governments, is expected to support up to 12,000 direct and indirect jobs by creating new local opportunities and securing existing positions.

“This package will support thousands of jobs across our national construction sector, which we know is facing many challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis,” Mr Tudge said.

“This includes local governments as well, who will receive funding to deliver targeted projects in their area.

“These types of infrastructure projects will be particularly crucial for helping us bounce back after the COVID-19 crisis has ended by ensuring we have the safe transport connections needed for all of Australia to keep moving.

“We will continue to work across governments and in partnership with industry to ensure the safety of all Australians while they deliver our pipeline of critical infrastructure projects.”

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Local road maintenance in Petrie electorate will receive a boost thanks to funding under the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s Roads to Recovery Program.

Federal Member for Petrie Hon Luke Howarth said the Australian Government would deliver over $190 million to 332 local government authorities nationwide for safer and better maintained roads.

“The Roads to Recovery funding in Petrie will allow councils across the area to progress a number of high-priority projects, using local knowledge to deliver the best local roads,” Mr Howarth said.

“The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government is committed to getting Australians home sooner and safer, no matter where they live.”

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Kevin Hogan said the Australian Government has committed an additional $100 million per year to the Roads to Recovery Program from 2019–20, as part of the Local and State Government Road Safety Package announced in the 2019–20 Budget.

“From 2013–14 to 2023–24, the Government will provide $6.2 billion under the Roads to Recovery Program, with an ongoing commitment of $500 million each year following,” Mr Hogan said.

“We are investing in infrastructure right across the country to lay the foundations for economic recovery on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic. Helping local councils maintain and improve roads under their jurisdiction is a big part of that.”

“The Federal Government is committed to providing vital infrastructure and services through a range of programs to local councils including the newly created $500 million Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program, Financial Assistance Grants, the Bridges Renewal, Black Spot, Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity and Roads to Recovery programs.”

More information on these programs is available at

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