Thursday, 9 April 2020

· The next National Cabinet will be held on Tuesday.
· A 24/7 National Coronavirus Health Information Line is available 1800 020 080.
· Other resources include www.australia.gov.au, the Australian Government’s Coronavirus app and aus.gov.au/whatsapp.

ROAD OUT: National Cabinet agreed baseline restrictions would remain for the next four weeks, with a framework for lifting them based around wider testing of more people, vastly increasing tracing capabilities, and expanding capacity to control outbreaks.

SCHOOLS: National Cabinet agreed with the medical expert advice from (AHPPC) that schools can be open and they agreed schools would progressively to re-open to face-to-face learning, at the choosing of each state and territory, relevant to their health advice and particular local situation.

AVIATION: Qantas and Virgin Australia Groups will operate a minimum domestic network servicing metropolitan and regional routes after a $165 million investment from the Federal Government.

JOBKEEPER: Parliament has passed the $130 billion JobKeeper Payment legislation. A $1,500 per fortnight wage subsidy for 6 million Australians. Payments will be facilitated through the ATO for businesses that register.

JOBSEEKER: The Government has temporarily expanded eligibility to income support payments and established a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight on top of fortnightly payments.

APP: A new voluntary opt-in tracing app will soon launch that will help digitally trace contacts of a person who has tested positive with coronavirus.The Prime Minister has confirmed it will not be mandatory to download.

MEDIA: The ACCC will develop a mandatory code of conduct to ensure tech giants pay media companies for their content.

UNEMPLOYMENT: Treasury expects the unemployment rate to rise to 10 per cent in the June quarter from 5.1 per cent. In the absence of the $130 billion JobKeeper payment, Treasury estimates the unemployment rate would be 5 percentage points higher and would peak at around 15 per cent.

COMMERCIAL RENT RELIEF: States and territories will implement a mandatory Code of Conduct to impose a set of good faith leasing principles that will apply to commercial tenancies (including retail, office and industrial) between owners/operators/other landlords and tenants. Details of the code are below.

RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES: National Cabinet agreed to a moratorium on evictions over the next six months for residential tenancies in financial distress who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of coronavirus. Residential tenancies will be dealt with by each state and territory.

CHILD CARE: We’re backing free early childhood education and care for around one million families, no matter what type of service they use. Further details below.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT: Temporary changes to the foreign investment review framework will now require approval for all foreign investments, regardless of value.

TEMPORARY VISA HOLDERS: Those who are unable to support themselves over the next six months, either through work, savings or access to superannuation are strongly encouraged to return home.

STIMULUS PAYMENT: The $750 stimulus payment will be paid to social security and veteran income support recipients, eligible concession and health card holders, as well as recipients of family assistance and social security income support payments.

SUPERANNUATION: The Government will allow individuals in financial stress, as a result of the coronavirus, to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.

BUSINESS: Full details for the Government’s support package for business can be found below including changes to the instant asset write-off, cash flow assistance, JobsHub etc.

REGIONS: A $1 billion fund has been set up to support sectors, regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the Coronavirus.

DEFENCE: There are around 2,100 ADF members providing support including contact tracing, planning assistance, and assisting police with mandatory quarantine arrangements for international air arrivals.

CRUISE SHIPS: Cruise ships are in the process of implementing their departure plans to leave Australian waters. As of 17 April, there are now three ships remaining in Australian waters: the Ruby Princess, Artania, and Caledonian Sky. The NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller announced a criminal investigation into the events that led to the Ruby Princess being allowed to disembark thousands of passengers.

HIGHER EDUCATION: The cost to study online course for six months across universities and private providers will be slashed, opening up training for new jobs in nurses, teaching, health and IT.

NORTHERN TASMANIA: The Australian Government is supporting the Tasmanian Government in responding to a cluster of coronavirus cases in Northern Tasmania. We are providing a specialist medical team (AUSMAT) to provide primary care, acute resuscitation, minor procedures and consulting care through the existing emergency departments.