Travel agent support plea

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Helloworld Travel Dunsborough co-owners Jana Gee and Anita Ness with Vasse MLA Libby Mettam.
Camera IconHelloworld Travel Dunsborough co-owners Jana Gee and Anita Ness with Vasse MLA Libby Mettam. Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee

Small businesses affected by the WA hard border closure are crying out for compensation to stay afloat.

Helloworld Travel Dunsborough co-director Anita Ness said she supported the border closure but her business needed funding to pay operating costs.

“It was instant, our income has dropped 100 per cent and we are still working to provide our valued customers with refunds,” she said.

“We’ve put more work in for no fee. We have then been under pressure to refund the commission we have made on bookings which was money claimed months ago and used to pay the running costs of this business.”

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Vasse MLA Libby Mettam said the State Government needed to provide small business grants that matched other States.

“The travel industry and in particular travel agents were the very first to be hit with the impact of COVID-19, and will very likely be the absolute last to recover considering there is no immediate plans to open interstate or international borders,” she said.

“It is important that assistance is provided by the State for those small businesses like Helloworld in order for them to survive.”

A State Government spokesperson said the Liberals were misleading desperate businesses about $10,000 grant packages in the Eastern States.

“In reality, these packages only have the capacity to provide grants for about 10 per cent of businesses in those States — not all small businesses, as the WA Liberals are claiming,” she said.

“Unlike other States, WA’s small businesses are operating in the best business environment in the country.”

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