QLD COVID-19 - 26 March 2020 | NECA

QLD COVID-19 - 26 March 2020

As a valued QLD member, NECA will be providing updates on COVID 19 each day for the foreseeable future.  Please look out for this in your inbox and review in full.

We will endeavor to capture everything relevant to your business, but you will appreciate the situation is constantly evolving so please be patient. 

Key developments in the last 24 hours

QLD

  1. Campgrounds close in response to COVID-19 outbreak.

 

  1. Changes to SEQ public transport to promote better social distancing

 

  1. Essential supplies keep trucking into Queensland

 

  1. Queensland COVID-19 Jobs Support Loans
  • Applications are now open for the Queensland Government’s $500 million COVID-19 Jobs Support Loan scheme. This scheme is for Queensland businesses and non-profit organisations financially affected by COVID-19 to retain employees and maintain their operations.
  • Low interest loans of up to $250,000 are available to assist with carry-on expenses such as employee wages, rent and rates and other related expenditure. Eligible business types include sole traders, partnerships, private and public companies and Trusts.

 

Federal

1. NATIONAL CABINET UPDATE

The National Cabinet met on 25 March 2020 to discuss enhanced health measures to support the nations efforts to fight coronavirus, the following was agreed:

Expansion of coronavirus testing criteria

It was agreed to expand the current coronavirus testing criteria to include testing people with fever or acute respiratory infection in:

  • all health workers
  • all aged/residential care workers
  • geographically localised areas where there is elevated risk of community transmission as defined by the local public health unit
  • where no community transmission is occurring, high risk settings where there are two or more plausibly-linked cases, for example:
    • aged and residential care
    • rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
    • detention centres/correctional facilities
    • boarding schools
    • military bases (including Navy ships) that have live-in accommodation.

 

It was also agreed that testing will be expanded to include hospitalised patients with fever and acute respiratory symptoms of unknown cause, at the discretion of the treating clinician. This is the minimum testing criteria. States and Territories have the discretion to expand their own criteria for testing if they have capacity.

Nationally consistent public directions on self-isolation for individuals

National Cabinet agreed to implement nationally consistent public health directions on self-quarantine for individuals diagnosed with coronavirus.

Further measures

National Cabinet will consider the need for any further measures at their next meeting on 27 March 2020.

 

2. NATIONAL COVID-19 COORDINATION COMMISSION

The Federal Government have announced the creation of the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (Commission). The Commission is tasked to coordinate advice to the Australian Government on actions to anticipate and mitigate the economic and social effects of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Neville Power has been appointed Chairman and brings both high level business expertise and a strong commitment to social issues.

The Commission Executive Board includes leaders across the private and not-for-profit sectors: Mr Greg Combet AM, Ms Jane Halton AO, Mr Paul Little AO, Ms Catherine Tanna and Mr David Thodey AO (Deputy Chair). They will be joined by the Secretaries of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Mr Philip Gaetjens and Home Affairs, Mr Mike Pezzullo.

 

3. ATO RELEASES ‘ONE-STOP-SHOP’ FOR ESSENTIAL TAX AND SUPERANNUATION INFORMATION ON COVID-19 STIMULUS MEASURES

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has updated its website with essential information about tax and superannuation changes that have now become law following the passage of the Government’s Economic Support Package through the Parliament.

Measures include:

  • giving individuals early access to their superannuation
  • providing cash flow assistance for employers
  • increasing the instant asset write-off, making more businesses eligible
  • backing business investment by accelerating depreciation deductions.

 

More information: www.ato.gov.au/coronavirus

Ban on Australians travelling overseas

The Commonwealth Government has implemented a ‘do not travel’ ban on Australians travelling overseas under the Biosecurity Act 2015.

 

Key past announcements

QLD

Federal

Places of social gathering and Social Distancing

Enhanced social distance measures are in place as of midnight Wednesday 25 March Worksites can and should remain open

Federal advice is that schools should remain open but implementation of this varies by state.

The workplaces that cannot open are listed here

Ban on Australians travelling overseas

The Commonwealth Government has implemented a ‘do not travel’ ban on Australians travelling overseas under the Biosecurity Act 2015.

 

Economic Response to the Coronavirus

The Federal Government package includes the following measures:

  • expansion to the eligibility of Jobseeker Payments to support sole traders and the self-employed,
  • cash payment of up to $100,000 for the period March 2020 to September 2020, worth 100% of the tax those small and medium size businesses (SME) with a turnover less than $50 million are withholding from their employee’s salary and wages,
  • coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme to support SMEs with a turnover less than $50 million. The Commonwealth will guarantee 50%, through the participating banks, of an eligible loan to small and medium enterprise customers that have been impacted by the coronavirus,
  • cash flow support to employers, whereby the Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible SMEs, and not-for-profits (NFPs) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000,
  • temporary relief for financially distressed businesses,
  • immediate, quick and efficient credit for SMEs.

 

NECA Resources

Business advice and support

NECA is mobilising resources to support members, in particular to access government support outlined above. 

Relevant employment legislation – Fair Work has published these FAQs which providing guidance on managing employment issues arising from COVID 19.

NECA has updated its Stand Down advice.  Please see the latest document here.

Webinars - NECA is hosting a series of webinars, which members can register for here.

 

Workplace health and safety advice and support

For information please log on into the NECA TKB.  To access TKB, please click on the link www.necatkb.com

Once you have logged in click on the Safety STAR icon.  Safety STAR is located on the NECA TKB website, you will need to log into NECA TKB.

 

Policy proposals/ media releases

NECA is developing a comprehensive set of policy proposals aimed at helping members manage the current crisis and rebuild in the future.

Payroll tax: NECA is calling for state governments to give businesses a ‘hand up, not a hand out’ by abolishing payroll tax for all small and medium businesses to help combat the continued economic turmoil caused by COVID-19.Link to media release

Contracting an essential service: Electrical contracting constitutes an essential service as set out in legislation, and NECA will be advocating accordingly so work can go ahead when it is safe to do so.  

Support for apprentices: NECA is calling for the federal government to take a holistic approach to supporting apprentices in these challenging times. Link to media release

 

Health advice

Please monitor the following sources for the latest health advice:

 

NECA has a dedicated webpage for all COVID 19 updates here.

 

Contacts
NECA
☎:1300 361 099
@:memberservices
✉: 122 Hume Highway, Chullora NSW 2190

 

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