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Minister says businesses hit by coronavirus can’t expect cash handout

Trade and Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham insists the government can’t provide financial aid to industries affected by coronavirus.

The Australian stock market shed almost $50 billion worth of value at the start of the week amid fears of the disease’s impact.

Qantas has announced it will cut back flights to Asia and reported in its half-year financial statement that the impact is expected to be between $100-$150 million.

Jetstar has today announced it will reduce services within Australia as coronavirus starts to impact profits.

Trade and Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham tells Deborah Knight it’s “impractical” to provide financial help for industries impacted by coronavirus.

“Government can’t simply hand money out to businesses because customers are drying up.

“We are trying to help those businesses by generating alternate customers, alternate markets, to try and get them through these tough times.”

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The government had announced $5 million in funding to boost sales for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup but Minister Birmingham revealed to Deborah Knight he would increase that amount with a further $1 million to bring in international visitors.


Image: Getty/Zhang Peng