BOLD: Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner  pushed for  BAS and GST requirements to be waived for one quarter.
BOLD: Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner pushed for BAS and GST requirements to be waived for one quarter. Peter Carruthers

Unprecedented call to support business

A THREE-PRONGED approach, spearheaded by Tourism Whitsundays chief executive Craig Turner, has convinced George Christensen to lobby the Federal Government to offer tax relief to Whitsunday businesses.

Tourism Whitsundays and the Proserpine and Whitsunday Coast Chambers of Commerce sent letters to Mr Christensen seeking the cancellation of GST and BAS requirements for one quarter, post Cyclone Debbie.

The idea struck Mr Turner as a viable way to ensure struggling businesses could maintain a steady cash-flow.

"The government needs to understand that if these businesses close they will never pay GST again,” he said.

"We need to give them relief for a quarter so they can continue to pay it on an ongoing basis.”

Dawson MP George Christensen said he would write to the Finance Department to support the idea. "I don't know if there is precedent for it, but I will try and get it anyway, and failing that I will want to suggest ways to further support local business in cyclone-affected areas,” he said.

Mr Turner said while his call might be "unprecedented” so was the weather event.