NSW families with school-aged children will be given a $250 Discover voucher, Premier Dominic Perrottet announced on Thursday.
The vouchers will be available through Service NSW for households which had a least one school-aged child in 2021.
They can be claimed from March, are valid until October and must be used on recreation, entertainment or accommodation.
NSW families with school-aged children will be given a $250 Discover voucher, Premier Dominic Perrottet announced on Thursday. Pictured: Sydney Aquarium
The premier plans to splash some cash on restarting long-awaited festivals in 2022 and putting on more events in Sydney’s CBD (pictured, a man outside the Enmore Theatre in Sydney)
Where can you use the $250 voucher?
Amusement, theme and water parks
Live music operations, performing arts operations, theatres and entertainment centres
Museums, galleries and historic sites
Recreational activities such as go-karting, indoor climbing, mini-golf, billiards, bowling or ice-rinks
Scenic and sightseeing transport
Travel agencies and tours
Zoos, botanic gardens, wildlife parks and nature reserves
Source: NSW Government
Father-of-six Mr Perrottet – who describes himself as a ‘Premier for families’ – said the measure was a reward for parents who had to home-school during lockdown.
‘In many senses this is a ”thank you” that will go some small way towards helping family finances that took a big hit and at the same time supporting businesses and jobs,’ he said.
‘We know it has been an incredibly difficult time of juggling kids, work and family life but we all owe you a great deal of gratitude.
‘We want you to get out, with your kids, or take some respite from them and go out with your partner, and enjoy the best that New South Wales has to offer.’
The announcement immediately sparked outrage on social media from people without children.
‘What about all those people that went through lockdown that live alone and had no social interactions,’ wrote Glen Williamson.
‘What about people with no kids that had to listen to their friends complain about home schooling,’ asked Travis Dunn.
Others said it was unfair on parents with toddlers below school age and grandparents who helped out during the lockdown.
But the Premier said there was ‘something for everyone’ in his $2.8billion cash splash to get the NSW economy moving again after Covid-19 lockdowns.
Mr Perrottet said 300,000 people lost their jobs in NSW last year including 250,000 since June.
Treasurer Matt Kean said the unemployment rate in NSW would hit 6.4 per cent in December.
He said the package will boost confidence, provide fresh opportunities and support NSW to return to a way of life ‘we know and love’.
‘But we don’t just want to recover what we lost, we want to bounce back better than ever – and this package lays the foundations to do exactly that,’ he said.
The Treasurer said the four-month lockdown from June to October cost the state’s economy $50billion.
Families watch an elephant in its enclosure at Taronga Zoo in Sydney on October 18, 2021
What is NSW doing to boost the economy after lockdown?
The NSW Government’s Economic Recovery Strategy includes:
· $500 million to restore consumer and business confidence, including the expansion of Dine & Discover and Stay & Rediscover accommodation vouchers;
· $250 million to support jobs and skills, including help for job seekers to retrain or upskill;
· $212.2 million to boost vital sectors, including additional funding for the performing arts sector, an Alfresco Restart Package, and support to bring our cities back to life;
· $200 million to boost regional NSW, including support for events, facilities and local infrastructure, and housing; and
· $75 million to boost communities across the state, including support for tourism, events, sport and recreation.
The strategy also assists those most impacted during lockdown including:
· $739.3 million in household and social support, including housing support for vulnerable Aboriginal communities, expansion of solar rebates, support measures for victims of domestic and family violence, and vouchers to parents who have facilitated home learning for their children;
· $495 million in education support to address learning gaps for children in need and to help schools adapt to future possible learning disruptions; and
· $130 million for a mental health recovery package to provide immediate access to help for anyone whose mental health has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday the premier announced that millions of Australians desperate for a post-lockdown getaway will be rewarded with free $50 voucher to holiday in their own backyard.
Every NSW resident will each receive a Stay and Rediscover voucher to go towards accommodation in hotels, camping grounds and caravan parks across the state.
The premier announced the vouchers as part of his $500million tourism recovery package designed to give the state economy a much need boost post-lockdown.
The Stay and Rediscover vouchers will first be the subject of a pilot program and before being rolled out statewide in March.
‘NSW isn’t just going to bounce back, we’re going to fly back and that’s on the back of significant investment from the NSW government,’ the Premier said on Wednesday.
‘We know that the borders will open and we want to be ahead of the curve here in NSW when it comes to ensuring that tourism comes back with a bang.’
‘It’s about getting people out and about again, enjoying the best of what NSW has to offer.’
Tourism minister Stuart Ayres added: ‘Every dollar counts when you’re a tourist and we want to stretch that dollar as far as we can.’
Intrastate travel remains off limits to Sydneysiders until November 1 to allow regional areas with lagging vaccination rates to catch up with the state average, which is more than 80 per cent double-vaxxed.
The Stay and Discover initiative will work similar to the successful Dine and Discover scheme and will replace the $100 vouchers for stays in the CBD.
Mr Perrottet is confident the travel initiative will be as successful as Dine and Discover.
Stay and Rediscover vouchers to go towards accommodation in hotels, camping grounds and caravan parks across the state. Pictured are holidaymakers in the Hunter Valley wine region
Musicians, writers and performers are due to receive a lifeline worth $25million that will be allocated to putting on more festivals in 2022 (pictured, revellers at Splendour in the Grass in Byron Bay)
What will be spent in the $500million tourism package?
*$60million for Sydney Airport
*$25million for festivals in 2022
*$10million for road trip campaign
*$150million for major state events
*$40million for event organisers
*$50million for revitalising CBD
Around $150 million of the tourism recovery package to supporting small, medium and large events.
The package aims to help the workforce of more than 300,000 in the tourism industry regain lost momentum.
‘Millions of people around the world dream of visiting Sydney and our regional areas. This package not only ensures they can, but that they’ll experience the very best of what we have to offer,’ Mr Perrotett said.
‘It’s also great news for people right across our state, reviving events and businesses and bringing our major draw-cards back to life.
‘Our aim is to reclaim our position as one of the world’s favourite destinations.’
The state government will splash some cash on restarting long-awaited festivals in 2022 and putting on more events in Sydney’s CBD with a $25million lifeline for creatives hard-hit by the pandemic.
Australian airlines will receive a $60million slice from the $500million pie to increase the amount of flights touching down in Sydney.
The state will reopen its border with the rest of the world from November 1, with vaccinated Australians to enjoy quarantine-free travel if they return to NSW.
Also on this date, limits on the number of people allowed into the country via NSW will be scrapped as well as quarantine restrictions on vaccinated travellers.
A marketing campaign worth $10million will convince Sydneysiders to take a long-overdue road trip in their state while $150million will go towards major events.
The tourism package will spend $40million in an initiative heralded the Event Saver Fund which will give back to organisers who lost income over cancelled events.
Sydney’s CBD will also benefit from the tourism program with $50million to go towards more events in the city, as well as Covid-hit Liverpool and Parramatta.
The latest travel incentive comes as unrestricted trips between Greater Sydney and regional areas are due to be given the green light on November 1 (pictured, festival goers in Byron Bay)
FREEDOMS AT 80 PER CENT DOUBLE DOSE RATE
Masks and QR codes:
Masks required for all staff and customers in all indoor settings including on public transport, planes and in airports (except children under the age of 12).
Masks no longer required in office buildings (unvaccinated people must still wear a mask in the office).
Masks no longer required in outdoor settings (except for front-of-house hospitality staff).
CovidSafe check-ins and proof of vaccination required for staff and customers.
Visiting family and friends:
Up to 20 visitors allowed in your home at any one time (visitor limits do not apply for children under the age of 12).
Small outdoor gatherings and recreation permitted for up to 50 people (2-person limit for people not fully vaccinated).
Visitors to residents in aged care facilities and disability homes permitted in line with their policies.
Exercise and recreation:
Gyms, indoor recreation and sporting facilities open with density limits and up to 20 people in classes.
No distance limits apply for exercise or recreation.
Indoor swimming pools open for swimming lessons, training and rehab activities.
Community sports permitted for fully vaccinated staff, spectators and participants.
Shopping and personal services:
Non-critical retail open with density limits (people who are not fully vaccinated can only access non-critical retail via Click & Collect).
No customer limit for personal services (including hairdressers, spas, beauty and nail salons, tattoo and massage parlours), density limits apply.
Sex services premises reopen.
Restaurants and hospitality:
Hospitality open with density limit for up to 20 people per booking (takeaway only for people who are not fully vaccinated).
No singing indoors (except for performers).
Dancing is permitted indoors and outdoors (except at nightclubs).
Drinking indoors and outdoors may be seated or standing.
Working from home:
Employers allow staff to continue to work from home, if reasonably practicable.
Employers require staff who are not fully vaccinated to work from home, if reasonably practicable.
Events and entertainment:
Major recreation facilities (including stadiums, theme parks, and race courses) open with density limits for up to 5,000 people, or by exemption.
Entertainment facilities (including cinemas and theatres) reopen with density limit or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity.
Information and education facilities (including art galleries, museums and libraries) reopen with density limits.
CovidSafe outdoor gatherings permitted for up to 200 people.
Controlled outdoor public gatherings (for example – fenced, seated ticketed) permitted for up to 3,000 people with density limit.
Nightclubs and strip clubs reopen with seated drinking and no dancing.
Weddings and religious services:
Wedding ceremonies permitted with no person limit (5-person limit for people who are not fully vaccinated), density limit still applies.
Wedding receptions permitted with no person limits (not permitted for people who are not fully vaccinated), eating and drinking while standing, and dancing is permitted, density limit still apply.
Funerals permitted with no person limit (10-person limit for people who are not fully vaccinated) and eating and drinking allowed while standing, density limits still apply.
Places of worship reopen for people who are not fully vaccinated with density limits.
Up to 10 fully vaccinated singers may perform in places of worship and at religious services.
Source: NSW Government