Business bulletin: 13 May 2021


Couple experiencing outdoor dining at sunset

Local hospitality and tourism businesses struggling to find workers can now access support under the Territory Government’s Work Stay and Play program.

This new program is part of the Territory Government’s $2 million Critical Worker Support Package to immediately boost skills and job opportunities for Territorians, and attract additional workers to the Territory, or encourage visitors to stay for work.

Eligible businesses can access the Work Stay and Play worker attraction incentive to help reimburse costs associated with a new employee moving into a job.

A payment of up to $1,500 is available per new employee, with eligible businesses able to claim up to $21,000 in total.

The one off payment could include airfares, moving household effects, transporting a vehicle or even accommodation and rental assistance.

Alex Bruce, Chief Executive Officer Hospitality NT said “This initiative supports employing more locals, interstate Australians and New Zealanders and will help us tackle the critical workforce shortage in the hospitality and tourism industry.”

As an additional support mechanism, hospitality and tourism businesses can also register their jobs for free on a new Territory Jobs Board, hosted on the Northern Territory Government’s website.

Vacancies will be listed on the Territory Jobs Board for four weeks and promoted to job seekers via a digital marketing campaign.

To post a job or to view current vacancies and training opportunities, go to the Territory Jobs website.

To enable people living in the Territory to quickly skill and move into jobs there will also be a range of free and low cost short courses available including responsible service of alcohol, espresso machine operations (barista), security, cleaning and housekeeping.

Courses will be available at the end of May 2021 on the Northern Territory Government website.

To find out more about the Work Stay and Play incentive and to apply, go to funding to attract hospitality and tourism workers on the Northern Territory Government website.

Student preparing plate of food

New visa changes announced to support the tourism and hospitality sector

The Australian Government has announced new visa changes that will assist a number of industries, including the tourism and hospitality sector, experiencing critical workforce shortages.

Temporary relaxation of student visa holder working hours

Student visa holders can work more than 40 hours a fortnight if they are:

  • employed in the tourism and hospitality sector
  • employed by an aged care approved provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider with a RACS ID or a NAPS ID, before 8 September 2020
  • employed by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider
  • enrolled in a health care related course and you are supporting the health effort against COVID-19, as directed by health officials
  • employed in the agriculture sector.

Advice for student visa holders

Student visa holders do not need to apply for this temporary measure. They should contact their employer. If a student’s visa is expiring more information is available on the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs website.

Advice for employers

Employers must continue to follow Australian workplace law. Overseas workers, including international students, have the same rights under Australian workplace law as all other employees.

These temporary measures will be reviewed by the government regularly. Employers will be advised when these measures no longer apply.

While these measures are in place, the Department of Home Affairs and Australian Border Force will not take any adverse action against student visa holders or employers with respect to students working in excess of 40 hours each fortnight.

New visa pathway for hospitality and tourism workers

Temporary visa holders working in, or intending to work in tourism and hospitality can apply for the SC 408 COVID-19 Visa up to 90 days before their existing visa expires and then remain in Australia for up to 12 additional months. This is a temporary visa that allows workers in critical sectors to lawfully remain in Australia and work in critical sectors to help alleviate skill shortages.

To find out more read Australian Government endorsed events on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Woman drinking

The Can-Do Territory business portal has expanded to support our events industry prepare for the return of the Territory’s dry season events.

Event organisers can now apply for special and major event liquor licences online through the Can-do Territory businesses services portal.

Major and special event liquor licence applications represent the largest volume of liquor applications in the Territory each year, with 258 received in 2019-20, making up 73% of all liquor licence applications received.

The Territory Government is supporting our events industry rebound stronger from COVID-19 by streamlining and simplifying the process to apply for special and major event liquor licences.

This is a new addition to the Can-Do Territory portal, launched on 16 February, allowing business owners to apply and track the progress of their business applications with government online.

Once the user submits a trackable digital form, they will receive a tracking number via SMS / email which they will be able to enter from the website to view status updates of their application.

This tracking number is unique to the applicant.

The time it takes to process applications will depend on its type and complexity and applicants are encouraged to submit their application well before the event date.

The Can-Do Territory portal will continue to expand over time, integrating more online applications and making it easier for citizens and businesses to access information, lodge and track online forms and transact digitally with the Northern Territory Government..

Find out more at Online services for business on the Northern Territory Government website.

Tourists outside Daly Waters Historic Pub

Caption: Daly Water Historic Pub ©Tourism NT / Jake Appleby.

Budget 2021 has announced $5 million to deliver another round of Territory Tourism Vouchers to support our tourism industry.

Available to Territorians aged 18+ and valued up to $200, the vouchers will be redeemable on a $1 for $1 basis and provide an incentive for Territorians to purchase bookable tourism products.

The last round of the voucher scheme generated more than $9.47 million in gross sales for Territory businesses and over the three rounds the voucher scheme has generated $26.7 million in gross sales.

From accommodation to tours to fishing and boat hire, the Territory Tourism Voucher has been extremely popular with Territorians experiencing the Territory’s tourism products.

Budget 2021 also announced that the Roadhouse to Recovery grant program will continue with $4 million to fund another round.

With more than 100,000 interstate self-drive visitors expected to come to the Territory this dry season and the expectation that this will continue to grow as more states open their borders, a $4 million investment into the Roadhouse to Recovery Grants is welcome news for operators and those planning a driving holiday.

The grants provide funding to assist wayside inns, roadhouses and caravan park operators to improve their visitor experience with grants of up to $150,000 in funding to support infrastructure improvements.

Families are a growing self-drive market, and infrastructure that supports families, such as play spaces, family cabins or rooms or baby change room amenities, will be welcomed as part of this program.

Improving amenities and experiences at roadhouses to encourage self-drive tourists to stay additional nights in the Territory will be supported through this program, by providing capacity for additional accommodation between regional centres.

The initial round provided $4 million in grant funding to regional and remote wayside inn, caravan parks and roadhouse operators across the Territory with these projects to be completed in the coming months.

Solar panels

More Territorians will be able to access affordable, clean and reliable energy with the Territory Government extending the Home and Business Battery Scheme.

The Territory Government has announced a further $2.8 million to extend the scheme in the 2021 Budget. This investment is expected to allow more than 460 homes and businesses to access the program.

The Home and Business Battery Scheme provides Territory homeowners and businesses with $6,000 grants to either;

  • buy and install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system with an eligible battery or inverter, or
  • buy and install an eligible battery and inverter, to complement an existing solar PV system.

Installing a battery means that rather than exporting electricity in to the grid, it will enable households and businesses to store electricity for the future which significantly reduces costs.

The scheme has enabled more Territorians to make the switch to renewable technology, while also delivering stable, reliable and affordable power for families and businesses.

To date, more than 700 Territorian homeowners and businesses have applied for the scheme, with over 510 applications approved valued at $3 million in grant funding.

For further Information and to apply view the Home and Business Battery Scheme on the Northern Territory Government website.

OBM event

Planning for October Business Month (OBM) 2021 is well under way with sponsorship opportunities now available.

Now in its 27th year, OBM provides Territory business access to a month-long program of inspirational and educational events designed to inspire and grow Territory businesses.

In 2021, OBM will continue to provide a high quality, content driven program focussed on delivering practical skills that meet the current critical needs of business and industry across all regions.

If you are looking at a unique opportunity to showcase your products, grow your network or build brand awareness now is the time to align your company with the Territory’s annual business program - OBM.

Several sponsorship packages are available with a choice of benefits to suit your business and financial commitment.

The 2021 program will aim to include a selection of interstate keynote speakers, coupled with local Territory speakers, interactive workshops and content relevant to Territory business and industry.

Speak to the team today to find out more and get involved.

For further information email, phone 08 8999 7820 or go to the OBM website.

Senior agriculture staff from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade (DITT) will be at this year’s Northern Australia Food Futures Conference to connect with industry stakeholders and businesses to grow agribusiness in the Territory.

The Northern Australia Food Futures Conference is Australia’s leading conference in agricultural development in the north. The conference focuses on driving expansion in the north and places northern agriculture on the national agenda.

The Northern Territory Government will host a Business Matching Lounge exclusively available to conference delegates to meet with key government representatives involved in agribusiness development in the Northern Territory (NT).

Delegates can arrange a meeting with the following senior agricultural staff from DITT by logging into their personalised Food Futures meeting diary and following the prompts.

Lorraine Corowa

Portrait shot of Lorraine Corowa

In her current role Lorraine leads a team of committed biosecurity champions in animal and plant health and a dedicated team protecting the welfare of animals in the Territory. Working closely with the agriculture and fisheries development teams the Biosecurity and Animal Welfare branch provides the underpinning legislation and regulatory frameworks to protect trade and market access for Territory primary products. The branch maintains accredited laboratories and is at the forefront of protecting northern Australia from pest and disease incursions.

Available Business Matching times:

Between conference breaks.

Matt Hall

Headshot of Matt Hall

Matt is Director of Plant Industries in the Agriculture branch. He works across horticulture, forestry, cropping and pasture systems throughout the Northern Territory. The key services provided to these industries revolve around research development and extension activities.

In this capacity, Matt helps to answer complex questions to improve the competitiveness and profitability of farming businesses. He is excited about the opportunities for Australian agriculture and is determined to be part of the solution to the challenges it faces.

Matt has worked for the public, private and non-profit sectors as a researcher, consultant, lecturer and manager. These experiences have made him a balanced scientist who can provide target advice across agricultural systems. Every day he is motivated to ask questions, seek answers and provide advice to improve the way that we farm and distribute products around the world.

Available Business Matching times

Between conference breaks.

Phil Hausler

Portrait shot of Phil Hausler

Phil has been intimately involved in executive-level policy and strategic planning for the Territory’s agricultural sector and brings a high level of practical experience to his role. Responsible for research, development and extension staff throughout the Territory, Phil also oversees the government’s seven research facilities and four regional offices.

Phil is committed to developing the NT through the enormous opportunities presented in agriculture and focuses on building effective relationships and partnerships with stakeholders to achieve strong investment, development and environment outcomes.

Available Business Matching times:

Tuesday: 11am to 11:30am and 12:30pm to 1pm

Wednesday: 11:30am to 12 noon and 1:45pm to 2:15pm.

For further Information, go to the Northern Australia Food Futures Conference 2021.

Last updated: 13 May 2021

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