The Australian Government is funding the Norfolk Island Regional Council (NIRC) to deliver a package of financial assistance for Norfolk Island businesses affected by the current COVID-19 outbreak and travel restrictions.
The current COVID-19 situation across the eastern states of mainland Australia is causing substantial disruptions to the domestic tourism sector, including on Norfolk Island. The new relief scheme will support our local businesses hit hard by the downturn in visitors caused by widespread lockdowns and travel restrictions.
The new support payments will be based on, and comparable to, similar programs being delivered to COVID-19 affected communities on mainland Australia.
The relief package will be delivered by NIRC to businesses on Island, as we work together to ensure tailored assistance is responsive to the current circumstances and reflects the unique circumstances of the Norfolk economy.
The Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, the Hon Nola Marino, has asked the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications to work with the NIRC to finalise details of the relief package for Norfolk businesses with a registered Australian Business Number (ABN). Payments will be tiered to profitability and turnover, ensuring we are targeting businesses most in need of support.
Full eligibility criteria and further information on the application process through NIRC, including the required supporting evidence, will be released in coming days, with the scheme anticipated to commence from 20 August.
Since the onset of COVID-19, the Australian Government has committed $55.6 million new funding for Norfolk Island over four years from 2020-21. The funding will support the local economy emerge stronger and more resilient through COVID-19, and grow sustainably into the future.
I will keep you informed as we continue to support you through these unprecedented times.
Administrator of Norfolk Island
Interim administrator, Norfolk Island Regional Council
12 August 2021