Peel workers anxious about coronavirus impact on jobs

Mandurah worker Melanie Dixon is concerned about how she will pay bills after losing her job on the weekend. Photo: Supplied

Mandurah worker Melanie Dixon is concerned about how she will pay bills after losing her job on the weekend. Photo: Supplied

Melanie Dixon is one of the many hospitality workers who lost their job over the weekend due to an announcement by the PM advising the closure of pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes.

With the Peel area's high number of service workers, it leaves a lot of people like Melanie concerned about their livelihood.

"I am really anxious about how I will pay for my essential bills like fuel, car registration, licenses and doctors appointments," the Mandurah university student said.

"Being a uni student with just a casual income it can be hard to prioritise my savings or even be able to contribute to my savings in some weeks.

"This crisis is really going to stunt my financial growth."

Many working in the retail sector have also lost their jobs or had their hours cut as the stores are quiet due to social distancing rules.

Peel employee Olivia Herbert is now only working three hours a week as the Mandurah Forum suffers sales losses.

"I used to do up to 20 hours a fortnight and now I only have a short shift every Sunday," Olivia said.

"I am thankful that my manager is still able to give me hours even if it is the bare minimum.

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"I have already had a few bills I was worried I was not going to be able to pay but it is mainly some of my bigger financial goals that have now been impacted," Olivia said.

Long queues formed outside Centrelink offices in Mandurah yesterday and today as many locals who lost work scrambled to apply for benefits amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mandurah residents lining up at Centrelink in a bid to apply for benefits amid coronavirus uncertainty. Photo: Supplied

Mandurah residents lining up at Centrelink in a bid to apply for benefits amid coronavirus uncertainty. Photo: Supplied

In addition to the $750 stimulus payment announced earlier this month, the government will provide a further $750 to social security, veteran income support recipients and eligible concession card holders.

The government has also announced a new time-limited coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight to both existing and new recipients of the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance for job seekers, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.

The payment boost will not kick in until April 27.