Licence fees will be waived for thousands of businesses across New South Wales as part of temporary measures to help support jobs.
The NSW government's relief package will assist 200,000 businesses across the state waiving $50 million worth of operation fees normally charged to construction workers for a period of 12 months.
NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said the action taken was the least the state government could do to support businesses and their staff through this challenging time.
“These fee waivers will deliver much-needed relief for small businesses, at a time when cash flow is crucial,” Berejiklian said.
To date, the NSW government has pumped more than $8 billion in stimulus towards the state's healthcare system and jobs in order to support the economic impacts caused by coronavirus crisis lockdown.
The state government has also deferred rents for six months for commercial tenants with fewer than 20 employees in all government-owned properties.
Payroll tax deferrals have also been extended to large businesses with more than $10 million in turnover for six months, following measures to exempt small and medium-sized businesses in the state’s initial package.
Construction has remained as an “essential service” across the country with the federal government working co-operatively with contractors to achieve “good project outcomes”.
In an attempt to balance new health measures in a bid to try to keep projects running on schedule construction companies have enacted measures such as social distancing, staggered shifts and break times as well as site wide decontamination.
Despite this, construction workers are also getting ill with the virus, with a coronavirus case reported at Multiplex’s Melbourne Square construction site as well as Kane Constructions' University of Melbourne Parkville campus.
NSW minister for finance and small business Damien Tudehope said the state government remained focused on keeping businesses in business and as many people as possible in jobs.
“Our number one priority is the health and safety of the community, but this is a dual challenge and we need to do everything we can to ensure the NSW economy emerges with a strong beating heart.”
Private construction has continued to suffer throughout the crisis with apartment building and commercial construction falling to its lowest level in almost seven years according to the latest monthly Performance of Construction Index.
The hit to confidence in an industry that employs one million people across the country directly shows why governments such as NSW are now attempting to stimulate activity and keep the sector ticking.