If the JobKeeper support system really wants to live up to its name, it seems the government will need to extend the scheme beyond its expected deadline.
Job losses during the coronavirus pandemic have hit Wannon harder than any other rural Victorian federal electorate, a new report revealed this week.
The Grattan Institute report based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data said 9.2 per cent of jobs disappeared in Wannon between March 14 and May 30 this year, higher than any other regional Victorian electorate.
Initial job losses, particularly in hospitality and tourism sectors hit Wannon hardest in the state, institute program director Brendan Coates said, but some Melbourne-based electorates had since taken greater hits.
"While regional areas have started to recover it underscores there is a long way back," Mr Coates said.
No matter how hard we try to spin it, the reality is the world will not return to normal at the end of September when JobKeeper is scheduled to finish. There is the very real chance more jobs will go if we don't manage the transition adequately. Furthermore, banks are expecting mortgage payments to resume after September.
The Prime Minister is yet to declare how the government plans to help businesses and workers through this process and to a sustainable conclusion. Those stuck in this predicament deserve to know how their government plans to help.
We have done an outstanding job in navigating our way through the pandemic, and now is not the time to stop.
Yes, it will cost us - and a lot - but just a couple of months ago we were prepared to spend many billions more of taxpayer dollars helping and supporting vulnerable everyday people who through no fault of their own, were suddenly put under enormous financial and emotional strain.
By all means, review the support, refine it and then adjust so it gets to those who still need it, but we need to recognise there is still a great need to help. Switching off the support that will still be needed - in many cases more than ever - doesn't make sense. It is a long road back.