27 March 2020

  • National Cabinet to meet (virtually) this morning
    • Discuss tighter measures, but NSW says looking at infection rates before any shutdown.
    • Rent still a major issue – it is who pays for it
    • the ‘hibernation’ concept gaining currency – businesses protected to get them through
    • speculation around underwriting commercial rents, rates and utility bills
    • Report (DT) that Treasury is also looking at flat-rate wage subsidies (not the UK 80% UK system)
  • Albanese flags longer term changes:
    • ‘need to look at casualisation’ and insecurity at work
    • ‘need to look at contracting out the workforce, particularly for public sector jobs’ (gives example of Centrelink)
    • needs to be ‘massive expansion of social housing’
  • Liberal backbenchers (Andrew Hastie, Tim Wilson) have raised concerns about foreign investors (chiefly from China) buying distressed Australian assets
  • The SMH says Treasurer Frydenberg has ‘privately expressed concern’ about this, and that FIRB is alive to the issue.
  • G20 meeting was last night; Australia looking to assist Pacific neighbours
  • Some of you may have seen that REIA president suggested there should be no forced evictions for six months  – while strongly suggesting compensation to landlords