Qld companies claiming hundreds of millions in Jobkeeker

 

Hundreds of millions of dollars has been dished out to keep Queensland's largest companies and their interstate rivals afloat.

The Commonwealth's JobKeeper program, which provides $1500 per worker at companies where revenue has fallen more than 30 per cent, has injected lifesaving cash to the bank accounts of thousands of stood-down staff.

Here are how much taxpayer money Queensland's largest companies took home, and how it compares to their interstate rivals.

JOBKEEPER BENEFITS

Eagers Automotive boss Martin Ward said the car dealership company had received government wage subsidies totalling $61.9m for about 7000 eligible employees across Australia and New Zealand, representing approximately 82 per cent of its workforce.

Harsh border closures and a lack of international gamblers prompted Star Entertainment Group to immediately apply for a stake in the JobKeeper program.

The program provided about $130m to almost 7000 team members.

AP Eagers CEO Martin Ward. Pic Mark Cranitch.
AP Eagers CEO Martin Ward. Pic Mark Cranitch.

 

Star's major rival, Crown Resorts Limited, has also been battered by COVID-19. Crown took $111.3m in JobKeeper, including $43.4m in subsidies for employees who continued to work and $67.9m for employees who were stood down through to June 30.

Based on trading levels, Crown Perth is not expected to qualify for the JobKeeper extension beyond September 27, however, Victoria's lockdowns is likely to mean Crown Melbourne will continue to receive the payment "given the continued closure of that property".

At current staffing levels, Flight Centre Travel Group expects to receive a net benefit of $70m to $80m in subsidies for retained employees from July through to the end of March via JobKeeper and the modified JobKeeper 2.0 program.

However, the group has flagged the possibility of further job losses which could affect the subsidy received.

Gold Coast’s Star Casino was closed for several months before it re-opened in July. Picture: Supplied
Gold Coast’s Star Casino was closed for several months before it re-opened in July. Picture: Supplied

 

Dreamworld owner Ardent Leisure said it received $6m in funding under Australian government support initiatives, primarily the JobKeeper program. Dreamworld and White Water World plan to re-open on September 16 after closing their gates in March.

The company has offered $40 off its annual pass to lure customers back.

Over at Village Roadshow, patronage at its Wet 'n' Wild, Movie World and Sea World theme parks has also been hit hard. During the year the group accessed $42m in JobKeeper subsidies, which it said had been "crucial" in maintaining the employment of its workforce.

Village Roadshow will assess whether it qualifies for an extension of the program from September.

Dreamworld Chief Operating Officer, Greg Yong, at a press conference announcing the re-open date for Dreamworld and Whitewater World. Picture: Jerad Williams
Dreamworld Chief Operating Officer, Greg Yong, at a press conference announcing the re-open date for Dreamworld and Whitewater World. Picture: Jerad Williams

 

Corporate Travel Management did not split out how much it has received in JobKeeper.

It said it received $7.7m in government grants - which included government assistance in Australia, NZ, Singapore, Hong Kong and UK.

Grants average $2.5m a month (JobKeeper a minority), offset by the cost of retaining additional staff to qualify for offshore grants.

About 1000 staff were made redundant.

Virgin Australia has received $49.3m in JobKeeper payments from the federal government plus around $1.2bn in subsidised flights during the pandemic, according to the note to creditors.

The embattled Queensland carrier stood down 80 per cent of its 10,000-person workforce at the height of the pandemic in March.

Virgin's reliance on government support paled in comparison to the nation's national carrier, Qantas, which received a whopping half-a-billion-dollars in JobKeeper payments.

The flying kangaroo has taken $515m in JobKeeper payments, according to its annual results.

The Transport Workers Union is arguing in court the company should hand back some of the cash after it sacked 8500 staff.

Virgin First Officer Ian Morrison performs a pre flight inspection on his aircraft. Virgin took almost $50m in JobKeeper payments. Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian
Virgin First Officer Ian Morrison performs a pre flight inspection on his aircraft. Virgin took almost $50m in JobKeeper payments. Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian

Gold Coast-based childcare giant G8 Education has revealed it has received $160.1m in federal government funding through the child care relief package and JobKeeper wage subsidy.

The company said JobKeeper contributed $70.8 million in the first half and is forecasting that figure to be $14.1 million in the second half of the year.

The company has 150 staff at its head office on the Gold Coast and about 475 childcare centres in Australia.


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