Covid-19 update: 21st April 2020

  • Virgin Australia set to call in administrators, after formal pleas for government assistance were knocked back yesterday. Two serious bidders believed to be in play: Australian private equity firm BGH and a consortium with Etihad. (Australian)
  • RBA Governor Lowe is expected in a speech today (3pm) to appeal for further policy reform to deal with the drop in business investment.
  • National Cabinet meets today at 10am.
    • It will relax ban on elective surgery, allowing IVF, colonoscopies, dental surgery, knee and hip replacements and other category two procedures. (AFR)
  • Federal Government is planning to legislate to assuage privacy concerns around the new Covid-19 Trace App. (AFR)
    • Essential Poll finds that 38 per cent of Australians would download app, 33 per cent won’t (poll taken last week under assumption of geo-location). (Guardian)
    • The Cyber Security Co-operative Research Centre, tasked with reviewing the App, says it has found ‘nothing particularly disturbing.’
  • Labor will move a disallowance motion in the Senate to reverse the government move to fast-track enterprise agreement voting period to 24 hours. It would require the support of cross bench to succeed (One Nation and Centre Alliance views unknown). (AFR)
  • Ongoing issues regarding JobKeeper:
    • complaints that some employers are misusing JobKeeper, refusing to apply if staff don’t agree to new conditions, or refusing to apply if staff don’t increase hours (AFR)
    • concerns that partnerships can only access JobKeeper benefit for one partner (SMH)
  • Industry Super Australia modelling finds more than one million Australians intend to withdraw cash from their funds that they are not entitled to. (DT) (ATO had received over 600K applications at weekend but not all will be entitled
  • Industry Super Australia chief Greg Combet has downplayed liquidity fears in the sector. Also flagged greater public-private approaches to building national infrastructure: ‘One thing we have to crack is a better partnership with governments in providing capital to achieve projects that are nationally important and that are going to help on the road to economic recovery.’ (AFR)
  • US oil prices plunge, futures moving below zero for oil being delivered in May. (WSJ)