COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information and Resources

**Last updated 8/4/2020**

 

australia.gov.au

The Government have launched a new website that will link you to all the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from Australian Government agencies.

 

business.gov.au

The Federal Government’s website business.gov.au is a key source of information on the financial assistance, eligibility and timing for the COVID-19 related financial support available for Australian businesses. The website will be updated as further information becomes available. business.gov.au also includes a range of tools, guides and information on matters like business planning, links to ATO and other useful resources for your business.

 

$130b Wage Subsidy – JobKeeper Payments

The Prime Minister has announced a $130 billion package to support the wages of up to 6 million Australians throughout the coronavirus crisis. The ‘Jobkeeper’ subsidy with be worth $1,500 a fortnight. The aim of the package is to enable businesses to keep workers on their payrolls throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and is applicable to full and part time workers and casuals who have been with their employers for 12 months or more.  Businesses and not-for-profits will be eligible if they experience a downturn in revenue of 30 per cent or more.

Further information is available on business.gov.au or for a printable version, please visit this link. Register your interest for JobKeeper updates from the ATO here.

JobKeeper Payments – Factsheets

The Government have released two factsheets to help explain the new payments. You will find one for employers here and one for employees here.

JobKeeper FAQs

The Government have released a helpful list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to assist you further understand the JobKeeper payments, including determining your eligibility.  You can access the list here.

 

South Australian Jobs Rescue Package

The South Australian Government has announced details of its second economic stimulus package – the Jobs Rescue Package. Within the Jobs Rescue Package, there are a range of measures that will provide support for workers, individual businesses and industry sectors, community organisations, sporting clubs, arts, cultural, community and recreational bodies as well as non-government organisations experiencing financial hardship and other impacts caused by restrictions enforced to limit the spread of the disease.

RDALC are still waiting for the Government to provide details on the eligibility criteria for applications however applications are now open. Please click here for further information on what you could consider including in your submission for access to this fund, or contact rachael@rdalc.org.au.

Further general information on the Jobs Rescue Package is available here.  

 

Rent Relief for Commercial Tennants

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced new rental waivers and deferrals for commercial tenants hit by the impact of the coronavirus crisis. Under the scheme, landlords will have to reduce leases in proportion to the reduction in the tenant’s business.

Deferrals — rental payments that will need to be made, but can be put off — must be spread over the remaining time on a lease and for no less than 24 months. The code will apply to any tenancies where the landlord or tenant applies for JobKeeper and where they have a turnover of $50 million or less.

Further information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.

 

Launch of national Jobs Hub

The Australian Government has launched a new Jobs Hub, supporting businesses and those Australians looking for work. The Jobs Hub helps Australians looking for work find advertised vacancies.

An up-to-date list of a selection of businesses and organisations that are currently hiring, and how to contact them, can be found here

While many businesses have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and are reducing their workforces, there are some areas of the economy which have an increased demand for workers. 

Employers who are hiring and want support to connect with potential candidates can also contact the Department of Education, Skills and Employment at workforce@dese.gov.au to be connected directly with businesses reducing their workforces; and the employment services network to source suitable candidates.

 

South Australian Support for Tourism Operators

The State Government has announced a $5.7 million financial support package to help local tourism operators get through – and continue well past – the current COVID-19 crisis. 

The two major funding packages are the Small Tourism Business Grant Fund and the Regional Events Grant Fund. 

In addition, the SATC has developed other programs which will assist the industry more widely including the Digital Training Program, Regional Funding Support Program and the Resilience and Rebound Project.

For more details, eligibility, dates, terms and conditions, and to apply, visit the Tourism Response Portal on tourism.sa.gov.au.

Fee and rent relief for nature-based tourism businesses including fishing

The South Australian Government will provide fee and rent relief for nature-based tourism businesses (including boating experiences and fishing) who have been significantly impacted in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. View media release here.

 

Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package

The Prime Minister announced that around 1 million families are set to receive free child care during the coronavirus pandemic. You can read the Prime Minister’s statement here

From Monday 6 April 2020 weekly payments will be made directly to early childhood education and care services in lieu of the Child Care Subsidy and the Additional Child Care Subsidy, to help them keep their doors open and employees in their jobs. Payments will be made until the end of the 2019-20 financial year and families will not be charged fees during this time.

For further information, click here

 

Freight Access

The Australian Government has announced a $110 million initiative securing freight access for Australia agricultural and fisheries exporters. For more details, please refer to the following joint media release here and you can access the factsheet here.

 

Measures to Help Renters

The Prime Minister has announced new measures to help renters. Under these measures, evictions will be put on hold over the next 6 months for commercial and residential tenants in financial distress, who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of the coronavirus. You can find out more here.

 

COVID-19 and Australian workplace laws

The Fair Work Australia website contains information and links to relevant Government sites, on the topic of employer obligations during COVID-19. It addresses many questions employers may be asking, including pay and leave during the coronavirus, health and safety and ending employment.

 

Closure of Wineries in South Australia

An update has been made which affects the operation of wineries and their associated cellar doors and restaurants.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 within South Australia, SAPOL State Coordinator Commissioner Stevens has made a direction under the Emergency Management Act 2004 to restrict wineries with cellar doors and restaurants attached to them. The direction stipulates that all wineries, cellar doors and restaurants located at wineries in South Australia are to close. The sale of food to the public is to stop.

Furthermore, food and beverage tasting is now prohibited in any outlet, including but not limited to wineries. Wineries can continue to sell alcohol via online or phone purchases, again provided that they are delivered by commercial freight or the winery themselves. For further information on these restrictions please click here

 

Government releases Coronavirus app and WhatsApp group

Stay informed with the latest advice and information by downloading the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Australia app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or join the WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.

WhatsApp users – You need to connect online, not via your app – search aus.gov.au/whatsapp on your phone browser and follow the prompts to choose the information you want to receive.

Don’t have WhatsApp? Search aus.gov.au/whatsapp on your smart phone, tablet or computer and follow the prompts.

 

Restrictions on Non-essential Services and Social Gatherings – updated 30/3/2020

On 29 March 2020 the Prime Minister announced further closures of non-essential businesses and restrictions on social gatherings. Pubs, licensed clubs and hotels (excluding accommodation), gyms, skateparks, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, beauty salons, play centres and outside playgrounds, places of worship and other public places must be closed.  There are restrictions on attendance at weddings, funerals and outdoor fitness classes (2 people only).  Supermarkets and pharmacies and other retail stores remain open.

Public gatherings, excluding household members, have been reduced to a maximum of two people. The Government have advised that everyone should stay home unless you are: shopping for essentials, receiving medical care, exercising or travelling to work or education. Check State and Territory websites for further enforcement information.

You can read the Prime Minister’s latest statement here

 

SA/VIC State Border Restrictions – updated 26/3/20

Restrictions have been introduced to limit the movement of people over the Victorian/South Australian border.  All persons entering South Australia are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. ‘Essential travellers’, as defined in the Cross Border Travel Direction, are exempt. This includes people who live near the South Australian border.  Although initially persons classified as ‘essential travellers’ were required to seek an exemption to travel from SA Police, this no longer applies.  A member of the public who believes they are an ‘essential traveller’, will be asked to justify their status if they are spoken to by police at a checking point or any other place in the State.  You can see the list of ‘essential travellers’ here and you can read the Cross Border Travel Direction (2020) directive at this link.

 

Income Support for Individuals – Factsheet

The Australian Government is providing support for individuals for the next 6 months and to help you understand these changes, you can access a useful factsheet here.

 

Support available for Employers

The Australian Government has announced measures to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). If you’re an employer, refer to this website to learn what your business can get, where to go for help and what your obligations are. The website also provides useful links to the Department of Health and the Fair Work Ombudsman.

 

Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments

Small and medium businesses with an aggregated annual turnover under $50 million that employ workers will be eligible for payments. Eligibility will generally be based on prior year turnover.  The information here includes useful examples and scenarios to help explain these payments.

 

Support available for Sole Traders

The Australian Government has announced a number of measures to support sole traders impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). If you’re a sole trader, learn what your business can get and where to go for help here.

 

Supporting Trainees and Apprentices

If you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of their wage paid from January 2020 to September 2020.  For more information, refer to the business.gov.au website.

 

Small business loan repayments deferred

The Australian Banking Association has announced that Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for 6 months.

Find more information on the Australian Banking Association website.

 

Support available from ATO

Support is available on the ATO website for anyone experiencing difficulties with tax obligations due to COVID-19. For help tailored to your circumstances call the Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 or email COVID-19Taxissues@ato.gov.au

If you prefer to use a language other than English, phone the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50 for help with your call. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can phone the Indigenous Helpline on 13 10 30.

The ATO has also released some common tax questions about COVID-19 regarding individuals, businesses, cancelled supplies and events as well as international business issues. These can be viewed on the website

 

COVID-19 Health Information Line

If you require information whether you, your family or your employees could be affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) please call the Corona Virus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.  The information line is available Monday to Friday 8.00AM to 8.00PM, Saturdays from 8.00AM to 5.00PM and Sundays from 9.00AM until 5.00PM.

 

Telstra and Optus support available during COVID-19

Telstra is currently offering consumer and small business customers additional data as well as offering unlimited home phone calls to pensioners. Further information on how to take up this offer is available on the Telstra website

Optus is supporting customers with additional data as businesses and schools across the country transition to working remotely. Information on how to access extra data is available on the Optus website.

 

School information and advice

Information and frequently asked questions for all South Australian Schools can be found at the following website. Monday 6 April to Thursday 9 April will be pupil free days in South Australian government schools and preschools.  Kingston Community School will be closed as of Friday 27 March in response to a student being diagnosed with COVID-19. Public health officials are making contact and working with the school community.