Businesses based in the Parkes electorate in the travel sector are among those damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic and the federal government needs to respond, a member of the opposition says.
NSW Senator Deborah O'Neill also said on Thursday the longer the vaccine roll-out was delayed, the less likely the sector would survive and recover.
She said while overall the JobKeeper wage subsidy had kept small businesses afloat, the government "continued to ignore" the travel, entertainment and arts industries.
Ms O'Neill, Labor's duty senator for the seat of Parkes, visited Dubbo last week, in the first month since the end of JobKeeper.
She said everyone would acknowledge Dubbo had had an influx of domestic visitors as NSW residents were unable to travel outside the state's borders for significant periods of time in the past year, and that would have a positive long-term effect.
But some had done it tough, she said.
"People who were involved in the travel sector, people who had businesses of long standing, 30 and 40 years have been completely and totally ignored by the government," she said.
"And clearly there needs to be some sort of transition and they were on the sort of sense of a promise there might be return to some sort of normal.
"The longer the vaccine is delayed in its roll-out internationally and in Australia, the less likely that sector will survive and recover.
The longer the vaccine is delayed in its roll-out... the less likely that sector will survive and recover.Senator Deborah O'Neill
"So that is a concern and I know that that's absolutely affected local businesses in the entire Parkes region who were intimately involved in the travel sector."
The entertainment and arts industry had also been damaged, Ms O'Neill said.
"People who lose their work and lose their skills often, in these sorts of situations, end up unemployed for a very long period of time," she said.
"So JobKeeper, overall a success in terms of keeping small businesses afloat, with the exception of some really critical sectors that remain damaged and will be very unlikely to recover."
When asked what Labor was proposing, the senator said it was the government that needed to act.
"We are not the government, so there's nothing we can do for those sectors, except to continue to raise the concern and try to get Mr Morrison [Prime Minister Scott Morrison] to listen...
"The experts are talking to him, the industry is talking to him.
"Mr Morrison needs to respond, he needs to listen to these sectors."
Ms O'Neill cited Legal Aid's recent forecast the end of JobKeeper would cause a rise in financial stress.
"...with the withdrawal of JobKeeper, people who worked in local businesses, and local businesses that need to continue that support will not be getting it, and there is some expectation the fallout of that will become apparent in the coming months."
The Daily Liberal contacted the prime minister's office for comment, but did not receive a response by deadline.
On March 11, the government announced $130 million for the second round of the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program, the Australian Federation of Travel Agents website shows.
Dubbo-based travel agent Sonya Hogan suggested earlier this month JobKeeper should have continued for travel agents beyond March 28.
"They really need that as a lifeline," she said.
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