Covid-19 update: 24th April 2020

  • QLD legislation passed Wednesday with adjustments that appear to be in response to the REIQ concerns
  • WA package announced yesterday  – Support for tenants facing financial difficulty due to COVID-19 –  $30 million for grants of up to $2,000 for residential tenants who have lost their job and face financial hardship due to COVID-19,  $100 million in land tax relief grants available for commercial landlords who reduce rent for small business tenants impacted by COVID-19 and $24.5 million support package to assist the building and construction industry to maintain a skilled workforce and support apprentices and trainees
    • Under the scheme, grants equivalent to four-weeks’ rent up to a maximum of $2,000 will be paid directly to the tenant’s landlord, to contribute to the tenant’s rental payments. The grants will be provided in addition to rental reductions negotiated between tenants and landlords. The residential rent relief grants will be administered through the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS), with applications opening from May 1, 2020. The scheme will be available to tenants or sub-tenants who have lost their job, applied to Centrelink for income support, have less than $10,000 in savings, and are still paying at least 25 per cent of their income in rent. For more information on eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit
  • PM and Treasurer both mentioned the Productivity Commission’s Shifting the Dial Report (2017) as guiding their future reform agenda.
  • National Cabinet meets this morning at 10am.
  • One Nation is expressing caution about company tax cuts or fast-tracked income tax cuts (because of debt concerns), as well as industrial relations reform (‘don’t want to see workers worse off’). Other Senate cross benchers – Centre Alliance and Jacqui Lambie – have said that they will approach proposals with an open mind. (AFR)
  • The Big Four banks will establish hotlines for businesses needing bridging finance, and have promised to expedite applications.
    • The Australian writes that the move came after ‘a furious PM vented his anger at the Big Four’ to the Tax Commissioner Jordan and the Treasurer, who then secured the agreement from the banks.
  • The Western half of Australia – WA, NT and SA – could potentially be first to ease because of their low infection rates, according to one of the government’s chief modellers Prof. James McCaw. (AFR)
  • Environment Minister Sussan Ley says she is looking at making legislative changes to get rid of green tape. ‘The PM says we need to look at everything with fresh eyes, and coming out of Covid-19 there is no better candidate than the twenty year old Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.’ (The Australian)
  • Tony Abbott says that the road out should mean rejecting a ‘scrooge-like concern over dollars and sense’ and less ‘dogma about the size of government’ from the centre-right. Suggests that instead of ending the double-dole in September it should be turned into a wage subsidy for older people and a part-time environmental job with local councils for younger people. (Australian)
  • There are suggestions Parliament could return on week starting 11 May.