Some NSW residents will finally get their hands on $100 stimulus vouchers this week, the government has promised.
Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello has said a trial of the “dine and discover” scheme will roll out in Sydney’s The Rocks suburb and the town of Broken Hill before Sunday.
That’s nearly three months after the $500 million program was announced as part of November’s state budget.
Since then, the trial program has been delayed twice. Originally, the trial was to run in mid-December and all eligible adults across the state were supposed to be able to use the four $25 vouchers by last month.
As of Tuesday, nobody had received their vouchers yet, a government spokesman confirmed. The ambition is to issue the credits to select people in the two trial areas before Sunday.
There will be another trial after that, in Sydney’s Northern Beaches area and in the Bega Valley Shire.
The statewide rollout is currently scheduled for March, Mr Dominello has said.
“A further rollout across the state is probably commencing in March,” he told the 2GB radio station on Monday.
Half of the vouchers will be earmarked for food, and the other half for fun.
Eligible adults will not be able to spend the money on booze but coffee, food and snacks will be on the menu.
As for entertainment, the expanded list of businesses that will accept the vouchers will include cinemas, museums, zoos, go-karting tracks, bowling alleys, travel agencies and sightseeing buses.
The roughly four million NSW residents who already have the Service NSW smartphone application installed will automatically be issued their vouchers when it’s their turn.
“If you’ve got the app, you’ll wake up one morning and you’ll have the vouchers on your phone,” Mr Dominello said.
Those without smartphones will be able to access their vouchers at Service NSW centres.
Three other states have already rolled out voucher programs to stimulate local economies since last year.
Tasmania has given out vouchers for holiday accommodation worth a maximum of $550 for a family with children.
The Northern Territory has recently announced a third round of vouchers that match residents’ spending on tourism experiences dollar-for-dollar with a maximum value of $200.
South Australia has had two rounds of holiday accommodation vouchers, with the latest round offering a total of $150 per eligible person.