South Australian gov't announces stimulus package amid "economic emergency"

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-26 14:04:06|Editor: huaxia

CANBERRA, March 26 (Xinhua) -- The South Australian Government has announced a jobs rescue package in response to "unprecedented economic emergency" caused by COVID-19.

Premier Steven Marshall unveiled the 650-million-Australian-dollar (383.5-million-U.S.-dollar) package on Thursday, saying it was aimed at supporting key industries and preventing job losses amid "the greatest economic emergency of our generation."

It brings the state government's economic response to the virus to one billion Australian dollars (590.1 million U.S. dollars) having previously announced a 350 million Australian dollars (206.5 million U.S. dollars) infrastructure package.

Marshall said that his government's economic response to the crisis has been "the highest per capita" out of any of the eight state and territory governments.

"The crucial thing about this package is to provide some structural support so that we can get this state moving," he told reporters on Thursday.

"When we come out the other side, we know that we're going to get through this disaster."

"We've seen tens of thousands of people laid off -- there are devastating scenes in South Australia and that's why we need to be doing literally everything we can at this time," he said.

"There's no point in waiting for six or 12 months. People are hurting now they need their government support."

Federal Parliament on Monday passed legislation for the federal government's 83.6 billion Australian dollars (49.3 billion U.S. dollars) economic stimulus measures.

Since that legislation was passed Centrelink, Australia's welfare agency, has been overwhelmed by applications, including 280,000 on Wednesday alone.

In response to the unprecedented number of applications the government on Wednesday announced changes to make accessing welfare easier.