INDUSTRY and business groups have welcomed changes to the Commonwealth’s JobKeeper 2.0 scheme overnight.

Under the scheme, hundreds of thousands more Victorians are set to be eligible for the JobKeeper wage subsidy, under changes worth an extra $15bn.

The new guidelines for the JobKeeper extension will begin on September 28

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced businesses will only need to show that their GST turnover had fallen over one quarter, instead of multiple, to be eligible.

“We believe that about 530,000 extra Victorian employees will now join the JobKeeper program over the September quarter, that means 1.5 million Victorian employees will be using JobKeeper,” Mr Frydenberg told reporters.

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Maritime Industry Australia CEO Teresa Lloyd said there was “no doubt that parts of the maritime industry desperately need JobKeeper to continue”.

“Many businesses have lost significant amounts of revenue, others are wearing massively increased costs as they pay for quarantine periods, expensive flights, over swing allowances and even staff that cannot attend work as they are not permitted to cross state borders,” Ms Lloyd said.

“The crisis is unprecedented and is having primary, secondary and tertiary effects on the maritime sector. Every support to keep people in the industry and connected to their employment while we go through this very difficult time is essential.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg speaks with Today about JobKeeper changes. Credit: YouTube

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO James Pearson said the federal government had “heard the concerns of people in business” over eligibility requirements.

“There is no doubt that these latest changes will save jobs that were sure to be lost as a result of revenue slumping in the face of Victoria’s lockdown and tighter border restrictions in the virus’ second wave,” Mr Pearson said.

“Our thoughts are with the many struggling businesses and their workers; and today the government has shown its willingness to supply the support needed to help get us through this crisis confronting us all.”

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