Parkes MP Mark Coulton has backed the federal government's new JobKeeper wage subsidy, saying it will deliver essential assistance for workers in the electorate at a time when it is needed most.
Mr Coulton said the subsidy directly addresses concerns he has heard from small business owners and operators, as well as local employees in his electorate during recent weeks.
"This subsidy will support around six million workers around the country who will receive a flat payment of $1500 per fortnight through their employer, before tax," Mr Coulton said.
"We know that COVID-19 is having a significant flow-on impact on our local economy - I've been speaking with local small business and local workers on a regular basis about some of their challenges.
"The $130 billion JobKeeper payment helps to alleviate some of those concerns, by supporting those in work so that we can keep our wheels in motion as much as possible as the COVID-19 pandemic continues."
The program commenced on March 30, with the first payments to be received by eligible businesses in the first week of May as monthly arrears from the Australian Taxation Office.
The MP reminded everyone that "we all have a role to play right now in slowing the spread of the virus".
"This includes heeding the advice from health authorities and practicing excellent hygiene, social distancing and self-isolation where necessary," he said,
"By working together on these simple practices, we will achieve the best possible outcome."
Mr Coulton said the JobSeeker payment is open to eligible businesses that have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus, and will provide the equivalent of around 70 per cent of the national median wage.
"For workers in the accommodation, hospitality and retail sectors it will equate to a full median replacement wage," he said.
"This payment will give working Australians their best chance of keeping their job and keeping them connected to their employers as we progress through these extremely challenging times."
Eligible businesses can apply for the payment online and are able to register their interest via ato.gov.au