31 March 2020

  • Govt’s wage subsidy plan gets broad support – business groups, ACTU and ALP.
  • 60,000 businesses have registered for wage subsidy overnight
  • Virgin Australia asks for $1.4b govt loan. Mathias Cormann, without responding directly, says that the government wants two airlines when we come out of crisis. (Eight regional airlines asked for bailouts last week)
  • Qatar Airways announces increasing flights to Australia, with new route Brisbane to Doha
  • Assistant Minister for Super Jane Hume criticises industry super funds with membership drawn from a single industry for ‘structural weakness’
  • ACCC chief Rod Sims indicates he will look through the present crisis in determining merger decisions
  • NSW Deputy Premier tells city people to ‘stay away’ from rural and regional Australia.
  • Seven biggest sports (Cricket Australia, NRL, AFL, Tennis Australia, FFA, RA) have jointly sought support from Sport Minister Colbeck.
  • Essential Poll shows increasing concern (53 per cent now ‘very concerned’)
    • 20% say they will be in serious financial distress if there is a short-term loss of income.
    • 88% support closing borders
    • 82% support for direct payments for people losing work due to Covid-19
    • 81% support for closing pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes
    • 80% support for direct payments to SMEs who are losing money
    • 69% support for distance learning at schools