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JCU Monitoring Students During Coronavirus Concerns

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James Cook University is closely monitoring events as the situation continues to evolve rapidly around the world.

The University is continuing to follow official advice to ensure the health and wellbeing of its students and staff.

Consistent with Education Queensland advice, any student or member of staff who is arriving from mainland China must self-isolate for 14 days and will not be allowed to attend classes or work. If students or staff are unwell, they should see a doctor. Self-isolation means staying at home, avoiding public places, and not accepting visitors.

Students from China make up a small proportion of the University’s international cohort compared to large metropolitan-based universities.

About 50 students from China are studying at JCU’s Townsville and Cairns campuses. None of those students are from Wuhan in Hubei province.

At this stage, the Australian Government’s travel ban is having a minimal impact on JCU’s operations.

Of about 50 students from China, 20 of those are affected by the travel ban.

JCU has worked with each of these students to develop individual study plans, and most of the 20 students will continue their studies remotely.

JCU will continue to support individual students to minimise any disruption to their studies.

Meantime, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced a package of more than $27 million to help businesses impacted by Coronavirus in Parliament on Tuesday.

The Premier said Coronavirus is no different from a cyclone, bushfire or flood and has asked the Prime Minister to activate the Disaster Recovery Allowance and match the Palaszczuk Government’s aid package.

The Premier told Parliament Queenslanders are relying on state and federal governments to work together on Coronavirus.

She said the economic impact on Queensland’s tourism, agriculture, fishing and education sectors is comparable to any natural disaster.

“The overnight downturn in Chinese tourists, students and export markets is having enormous impact,” the Premier said.

“This $27.25 million is a way of addressing some of those losses and setting us up for recovery once the virus is contained.”

Highlights include:

  • $7 million in international tourism promotion
  • $4.8 million targeted for the Tropical Far North and Gold Coast regions
  • Waiving fees for fishers
  • Waiving fees associated with liquor licences
  • Deferring tourism lease payments
  • Rebates for marina and jetty fees
  • Waive quota fees for rock lobster and coral trout

The Premier said they were practical and immediate measures but more needs to be done.

“The Federal Government should match my government dollar for dollar,” the Premier said.

“The Morrison Government needs to get serious, acknowledge this crisis will have a significant impact on Queensland industry and step up for our business owners.

“Federal support would allow us to provide a $2,000 resilience grant for up to 6,000 small business owners and it would trigger $700,000 in export grants for small to medium enterprises allowing them to travel to China and reconnect with partners once borders re-open.”

The Premier has today once again written to the Prime Minister asking him to reconsider his objection to activating Natural Disaster Relief Arrangements.

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