Live Updates & Media
Thursday 16 April
National Cabinet met today with the Prime Minister confirming the current restrictions will remain in place, to be reviewed again in the 4 weeks’ time.
Friday 8 April
- Federal parliament has passed the $130 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme. More than 730,000 businesses have signed up for the scheme,
Tuesday 7 April
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a new commercial tenancy code of conduct for small to medium-sized businesses with an eye to maintaining contracts while reducing rent during the period of economic hibernation. States and territories will legislate a code of conduct that requires landlords to reduce rent proportional to tenants' trading reduction through a combination of waivers of rent and deferrals of rent.
The code will apply to tenants who are eligible for the JobKeeper program, and has a turnover of $50 million or less.
Thursday 2 April
- Queensland is preparing to tighten border controls, turning away everyone except those who have a border pass, freight carriers, and people living in communities that straddle the border.
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a free childcare program for Australian parents. Mr Morrison said those parents who needed to physically be at work should have somewhere that can take care of their children. “If you have a job in this economy then that is an essential job,” he said. “It is important that all of those parents who have children, that they get access to childcare and those facilities will be there for them.”
Wednesday 1st April
Positive announcements for exporters today with a COVID-19 Relief and Recovery fund for airfreight for essential agricultural, fisheries and forestry industries and extra $49.8 million into the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG).
Information on the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery fund for airfreight for essential agricultural, fisheries and forestry industries can be accessed here.
Details on the additional funding for the EMDG include:
- Funding for EMDG will increase by $49.8 million in the 2019-20 financial year
- This supplements the additional $60 million already committed by the Government and brings EMDG funding to its highest level in more than 20 years at $207.7 million for the 2019-20 financial year.
- Applications lodged in the 2020-21 financial year can claim expenses even if events have been cancelled due to circumstances beyond a business’s control
- Any business which has incurred eligible EMDG expenses for promotional activities in 2019-20 financial year will be able to seek reimbursement for 50 per cent of these expenses without the Export Performance Test applying, when they apply from July 1
- Full details here.
Tuesday 31 March
Monday 30 March
- Prime Minister announces a new package $130 billion package, estimated to support a 6 million Australians
- $1500 jobkeeper payment – designed to give job security and allow employess connected to their employers so they can get back to business quickly when the time comes.
- It will be a flat payment (70% of median wage) estimated to be 100% median wage for most affected sectors of hospitality, retail and tourism.
- Available to FT/PT and sole-traders and casuals who have been with their employers for 12months
- To qualify business needs to have had a downturn of 30%
- Employers to be paid to pay their employees.
- Queensland schools go student-free from today but schools remain open for children of essential workers
- The Federal Government is expected to announce a wage subsidy amongst further stimulus packages in the coming days
Sunday 29 March
- The Prime Minister has announced a new two-person limit on public gatherings and a six-month moratorium on evictions from commercial and residential rental properties and urges anyone over 70 to stay home.
Friday 26 March
- The Prime Minister announces further isolation measures for returning Australians and says all arrivals to Australia will now be quarantined in hotels in the city they arrive in. He also spoke of businesses going into 'hibernation' as an innovative strategy to help the economy. More to come on this.
Thursday 25 March
- Premier Palaszczuk announces Queensland schools to be having 'Pupil Free' days from Monday 30th March, however, children of essential workers will still be able to attend.
Wednesday 24 March
Prime Minister announces stage 2 restrictions. All overseas travel banned, food courts, real estate auctions and inspections and says extended family gatherings must stop.
- Queensland will close its borders from midnight.
- A new crackdown on social gatherings will also take effect from midnight.
- Tokyo Olympics postponed until 2021
Tuesday 24 March
- Queensland's Treasurer announced:
- 'Industry Assistance' in the form of an immediate refund of 2 months payroll tax for all businesses, along with a 3-month payroll waiver for businesses with wages up to $6.5 million. The previously announced 6-month deferral remains in place, meaning no small business in Queensland will pay payroll tax in 2020.
- Industry and worker support package: Program to move displaced workers into other critical jobs areas and direct assistance for large employers in industries that are directly impacted
- Households will have an immediate one-off credit of $200 on electricity and water bill.
- Brisbane City Council announces closure of water parks and lagoons
- Premier Palaszczuk announces further details Queensland's border closures. From midnight on Wednesday all border road/rail/sea/air. All non-essential travel should be postponed. Visitors will be required to self-quarantine. Methods are being looked at how to make sure Queensland's freight (in and out) is not interrupted.
Monday 23 March
- Pubs, clubs, casinos, cinemas, indoor sports facilities including gyms, and places of worship will close from noon today
- The State Government decides to shut Queensland's borders
- Local Government elections confirmed to take place
Sunday 22 March
The Prime Minister has introduced new shutdown directives.
The Federal Government today announced a second stage of measures to keep businesses in business and to keep workers in jobs.
A snapshot of the measures are below. Full details are found here
The measures include:
- A wage subsidy for small and medium businesses to save jobs; and
- A guarantee on loans to small and medium businesses so they can keep in business.
1. Businesses to receive a cash payment of up to $100,000 for the period March 2020 to September 2020.
That payment will be worth 100% of the tax those small and medium businesses, with a turnover less than $50 million, are withholding from their employees salary and wages.
The payment will be tax free. It will now also be available to eligible charities or other not-for-profit entities.
How the Payment Works
Eligible businesses that withhold tax to the ATO on their employees’ salary and wages – they report it each month or quarter anyway - will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of the amount withheld, up to a maximum payment of $100,000.
Eligible businesses that pay salary and wages will receive a minimum payment of $20,000, even if they are not required to withhold tax.
2. Supporting Small Business to Get to the Other Side With Loans
A new Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme to support small and medium business with a turnover less than $50 million.
The Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme will be able to be accessed by eligible banks and non-bank lenders.
Under the Scheme, the Commonwealth will guarantee 50%, through the participating banks, of an eligible loan to small and medium enterprise customers that have been impacted by the coronavirus.
The Scheme will have the capacity to support lending of $40 billion to small and medium businesses.
Loans will be used for working capital purposes and be unsecured and it will be for loans granted within 6 months starting 1 April 2020.
The Scheme will apply to new or existing customers of banks and non-bank lenders.
Lenders will not be charged a fee for accessing the Scheme.
It will be repayment free for 6 months.
The maximum loan will be $250,000 for a term up to 3 years.
It will not apply to re-financing of existing customers. Those already have existing loans that will benefit from the ABA announcement.
- The Prime Minister has said all non-essential travel should be cancelled.
Saturday 21 March
The Queensland Government has put the call out to manufacturers asking them to contact them if they are finding it difficult to access vital materials or supplies. To seek help and find a solution, manufacturers can complete a short form at qld.gov.au/qld-supplies
Friday 20 March
- The Queensland Budget has been postponed
- The Federal Budget postponed until October 6
- The Prime Minister announced:
- New restrictions on indoor gatherings. They must now include no more than 100 people and allow for four square meters per person.
- A second stimulus package will be directed towards small and medium-sized business
- Australians should reconsider the need for unnecessary travel
- Travel to Indigenous communities will be restricted
- Aged-care facilities will receive an extra $444 million
- Commercial and residential tenants will receive financial relief
- Banks will freeze small business customers’ loan repayments for up to six months amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the move could put $8 billion back in the pockets of operators.
Thursday 19 March
- The Prime Minister introduces new border control restrictions with non-Australian residents unable to enter the country from 9 pm on Friday.
- The Reserve Bank of Australia has pushed the emergency button today in an out of schedule monthly meeting to bring the cash rate down to a historically low level of 0.25%. Full details here
- Brisbane city council has announced it will waive all charges, rents, levies and permit fees effective immediately for all businesses, as they face economic hardship caused by coronavirus impacts. Full detail here.
Wednesday 18 March
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces a ban on non-essential gatherings of 100 or more people indoors, but schools, universities and child care facilities will be exempt
- Australia calls on citizens travelling abroad to return home to avoid being stranded overseas, with unprecedented level 4 warnings as airlines cut flights and countries close borders
- Virgin Australia suspends its entire international operations from March 30 and slashes domestic flying capacity by 50 per cent
- Stimulus packages announced by the US and UK.
- The Federal Government is expected to announce a further stimulus package
Tuesday 17 March
The Queensland State Government announced additional business support with access to interest-free loans and extending the payroll-tax deferral to all Queensland businesses.
The Federal Government announces an 'Economic Response to the Coronavuirus '
The State Government announces 'Industry Recovery Package'