Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig has confirmed the details of an assistance package for workers whose income has been directly impacted by the temporary suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia.
In a press release issued this morning, Senator Ludwig said the package will include Income Recovery Subsidy payments and priority assistance through Job Services Australia for those who have lost their employment.
Mr Ludwig's press release states:
“This assistance package will ensure employees and small business owners who earn the majority of their income from the live cattle trade to Indonesia receive support in the short term,” Minister Ludwig said.
“I understand that the decision of Government to suspend trade to Indonesia has made things tough for some people in the industry.
“Although this assistance will not substitute their full income, it will provide short term assistance while safeguards for the trade are established. The Government remains committed to reopening the trade as soon as possible.
“The assistance will be paid from 7 June, the day the suspension became effective, and will provide financial assistance to individuals for up to 13 weeks. Individuals will be able to register with Centrelink straight away for this income assistance.”
Payments will be made up to the value of the maximum Newstart Allowance payment rate, with the overall cost of the subsidy estimated to be around $3 million.
Minister Ludwig said any employees retrenched as a result of the temporary suspension will also be able to access immediate and personalised employment services as part of the package.
“This assistance will target anyone made redundant as a direct result of the suspension and will help them to get back into the workforce as quickly as possible,” Minister Ludwig said.
“A Centrelink Hotline will also be established as part of the package, which will be a dedicated point of call for all those who require information about subsidy payments or the employment service.
“The 1800 808 869 Hotline will operate between 8am and 8pm local time, Monday to Friday.”
Job seekers who do not wish to claim a payment and only wish to register for employment services should check their local listings and choose their own Job Services Australia provider.
The package is separate to the $5 million animal welfare contingency fund currently being negotiated with the industry.
Subsidy payments will be administered through Centrelink.
People can also visit their local Centrelink office or log onto www.centrelink.gov.au