Covid-19 Update 16th April 2020

VIC announced its housing eviction etc package yesterday. Rent increases and evictions will be illegal for six months and tenants will be able to access assistance payments of up to $2000 from a $80M fund – Applications from those who earn less than $100,000 and have less than $5000 in savings. The payment will go direct to landlords

NSW issued a press release about progress on its ‘targeted stimulus program’.  A $60.5 million program for maintenance works and upgrades on public housing properties. Work includes pausing plans to redevelop the ageing Arncliffe Estate in Sydney’s South, to provide emergency accommodation in response to the crisis. Billbergia Group, and Evolve Housing the development partners will be involved in scoping and delivering

A similar stimulus works program costing $13.5m is being undertaken through the Aboriginal Housing Office with a focus on improving living conditions and reducing cost of living pressures for Aboriginal tenants in regional and remote NSW.

  • National Cabinet meets today at 10am, will discuss school reopening and broader issues.
  • Covid-19 crisis has caused significant population decline (Australian).
    • Down around 300,000 temporary visa holders already (temporary workers, tourists, students), according to Acting Immigration Minister Tudge.
    • Predicted to decline by another 300,000 by end of the year according to former Immigration Dept official Rizvi.
  • UBS predicts house prices to decline by 10 percent, with new housing starts to drop from 174,000 in calendar 2019 to around 120,000 in 2020. (AFR)
  • RepuTex predicts power bills to fall by 20 per cent over two years (lower demand, lower energy prices, more supply from renewables) (AFR)
  • Australia Post CEO Christina Holgate accused of political interference, after emails to colleagues revealing discussions with Queensland Premier Palaszcuk. Noting that the Premier was keen to further catch-up to understand ‘how we could help with her upcoming election,’ Holgate was looking to have AP assist. Holgate denies impropriety. (Australian)
  • Federal government recommits to WHO funding, but backbenchers such as Dave Sharma and Sen Fierravant-Wells are looking for a review when the crisis is over. (SMH)
  • YouGov survey reveals community anxieties  – one in two people feeling isolated, 57 per cent suffering stress, 27 per cent say relationships are more strained (Daily Telegraph)
  • Germany says some small shops can reopen next week (including bookstores, car dealers and bike shops).
  • G20 Finance Ministers have agreed to suspend debt repayments  – developing countries – until the end of the year.