The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:25): I rise today to speak about the government grants to support businesses and our multicultural community. We know that South Australian businesses and our community are facing many challenges caused by COVID. The Marshall Liberal government has been a responsible and responsive government since the beginning of the pandemic. We reached out to hardworking South Australians by providing government grants to ensure businesses and community centres stayed open and local jobs were protected.
I would like to highlight how the Marshall government is continuing to support the ongoing COVID recovery. As part of a sweeping joint federal-state government small business support package announced recently, I am pleased that hundreds of local tourism and hospitality businesses, including restaurants, cafes, pubs and travel and tour operators, have already started receiving the new $3,000 and $1,000 cash grants.
So far, $4.8 million worth of COVID-19 tourism and hospitality support grants has been automatically paid into the bank accounts of 1,859 eligible South Australian businesses. Furthermore, the generous support is in addition to the first round of grants they received last month, meaning employing businesses in this sector that are continuing to do it tough could have received $9,000 in the past nine weeks alone, or $10,000 if they operate in the CBD.
When I am out and about with my family and friends at various cafes and restaurants, business owners have come up to me to thank the Marshall Liberal government for saving their businesses and staff have thanked the government for saving their jobs. In addition to supporting the hospitality small businesses, larger businesses in these eligible sectors, including performing arts, creative artists, taxis and car rental businesses, can apply for top-up grants, which will take the total grant to $10,000 where turnover is greater than $2 million and $20,000 where turnover is greater than $5 million.
I am proud that the Marshall Liberal government, under the leadership of Premier Marshall and Treasurer Lucas, are doing absolutely the best that we can to back our business sector, tourism industry and local jobs as we emerge from COVID-19. I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hardworking member for Adelaide, the Hon. Rachel Sanderson, for her strong advocacy and active role to support and to continue working with city businesses to ensure that patronage, jobs and economic activities in Adelaide continue to bounce back as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to supporting the business sector, the Marshall government has also been working alongside our wonderfully diverse multicultural community to ensure that they have the support they need to maintain their community centres and to ensure that they stay safe and connected, doing things that are important to them.
In the state budget 2021-22, I am proud that the Marshall Liberal government has injected into multicultural affairs an additional budget of $2 million. Our government is committed to building stronger and more vibrant communities by working in partnership to advance, to celebrate, to expand and to be stronger and safer together.
There were four types of grants that we already had since coming to government: Advance Together, Celebrate Together, Expand Together and Stronger Together. To pave the way for multicultural communities to strengthen capacity and community resilience, we have also opened the second round of our Expand Together grants program, and that has really benefited many community associations in the multicultural sector.
Furthermore, a new grants program, called Connect Together, was created out of the funding boost to support high-priority and meaningful initiatives for multicultural communities to deliver better services for COVID recovery. It is important to note that in our first term of government between 2018 and 2022 the Marshall Liberal government has invested more than $14 million to support our multicultural communities. In contrast, historical budget papers and estimate reports show that the former Labor government only allocated around $11 million specifically for multicultural affairs between 2014 and 2018.
I believe community members in South Australia are smart enough to differentiate which political party is doing a better job looking after the people of South Australia. It is my privilege to bring the matters to the attention of members and I thank the business community and the multicultural community for their strength and resilience.