• Tony Bosworth

Don't leave travel agents behind, urges MP Templeman

Peta Pearson, who works at Helloworld Travel in Richmond Marketplace, wanted to be a travel agent ever since she was a teenager.

MP Susan Templeman with Peta Pearson and Claudia Laming at Helloworld Travel in Richmond Marketplace

But despite loving her job, Peta and her colleague, Claudia Laming, have shared their uncertainty about the future when the JobKeeper wage supplement is discontinued on March 28

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman is pushing for JobKeeper to be continued because many industries are still struggling due to Covid and she visited the travel agents this week - the people who really know what closed borders mean.

“When I met with Peta and Claudia, they still managed a smile and a joke. But their lives are on hold,” Ms Templeman said.

“Travel agents have really suffered during Covid with the borders closed, and initially there was no immediate support for the businesses they worked in, until JobKeeper was introduced.

“Right from the start, they had to go through the cancellation and refund process for angry and distressed travellers.

“The Morrison Government wasn’t able to get stranded Aussies home, but my goodness I saw travel agents do it.

“So now, with no sign of international borders opening, these workers and their employers are completely uncertain about their future with JobKeeper due to end.

“The government tells us how much they’ve done for travel agents, but the assistance they’ve provided to business owners has, in the case of many local businesses I’ve spoken to, only covered the rent for an extra couple of months.

“I know owners who have dipped into their own savings and their superannuation to keep their staff on for the hours they needed to pay their bills.

“Domestic travel bookings and commissions can’t replace international travel - they need JobKeeper.”

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