Delayed COVID vouchers to roll out
Vouchers giving patrons cash discounts for food and entertainment could be used to provide "laser-like" stimulus in regions hit by future disasters, according to Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello.
A pilot of the state government's $500 million Dine and Discover program - which will give NSW residents four $25 vouchers to spend on food or entertainment - will begin this week with a select group of customers and businesses in Broken Hill and The Rocks taking part.
The COVID stimulus measure is designed to get customers spending in food and entertainment venues.
But Mr Dominello is already thinking how similar vouchers could be used to provide targeted government stimulus in the future.
"We cannot go back to the global financial crisis days of the misdirected $900 cash handouts," he said.
The voucher program could be used in future to provide stimulus for bushfire ravaged towns, or drought impacted regions.
"With the QR framework, you could wake up one morning and have a voucher in your ServiceNSW app that you can only spend in a targeted community".
The Daily Telegraph can also reveal that 2235 businesses in the food and beverage industry had registered to be part of 'Dine and Discover' program as of last Wednesday.
Despite multiple delays of the program, vouchers are still set to expire on June 30 this year.
A small group of customers and businesses will get the vouchers in the pilot phase before they are expanded to Bega Valley and the Northern Beaches later this month, and statewide in March.
It's understood The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room will be part of the trial. Marketing manager Claudia Rosati said the vouchers will "encourage more people to come out more often to support local venues".
Restaurant and Catering Australia CEO Wes Lambert said the Dine and Discover program would be "lifesaving for the hospitality sector".
Originally published as Delayed COVID vouchers to roll out