The NSW Nationals in the federal government will continue to deliver the economic lifeline households and businesses need to ensure regional Australia comes through the COVID-19 pandemic in a strong position.

The JobKeeper Payment will be extended by six months to March 28, 2021 and the temporary Coronavirus Supplement for those on income support will be extended until December 31, 2020.

Deputy Prime Minister and federal Nationals Leader Michael McCormack said the continued assistance would help thousands of regional Australians who are without work, supporting communities and businesses on the economic road back.

“We have always known regional Australia is resilient but in the past 12 months, our local communities have demonstrated that resilience like never before,” Mr McCormack said.

“Through drought, bushfire, floods and now the pandemic, our people have kept forging determinedly ahead as they fight for their livelihoods, their families and communities.

“The Nationals in Government have always backed that effort with action and today we have announced these further support measures.”

The extension of support recognises Australia’s economic recovery is still in its early stages and a number of businesses and individuals remain significantly affected by the global pandemic.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the NSW Nationals in the federal government always said they would continue to provide support to Australians disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

“This pandemic has taken a toll, but as our regional economies reopen and recover, communities know they have a government focused on saving jobs and creating jobs,” Mr McCormack said.

“We have extended the Coronavirus Supplement, announced a new skills package and introduced JobMaker to help people transition from welfare to work.

“We are also increasing the income free area for the JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance (other) to $300 a fortnight to encourage recipients to take up job opportunities as businesses reopen.”

Further details about the amended JobKeeper Payment and Coronavirus Supplement are available at treasury.gov.au.