Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources


BECA have collated the Federal, State and Territory Government COVID-19 measures which may assist you during the coronavirus pandemic.

These resources provide information for the business events industry about relief assistance and support.

Federal Government Support

State and Territory Government Support

Information Update

Federal Government

National COVID-19 Commission

  • The Commonwealth Government has established a new National COVID-19 Coordination Commission that will coordinate advice to the Government on actions to anticipate and mitigate the economic and social effects of the pandemic.

  • Mr Neville Power has been appointed Chair. The other members of this board are Greg Combet; Jane Houlton, whose last role was as head of the Finance Department; Paul Little, former head of Toll; Katherine Tanner, head of Energy Australia and who sits on the Reserve Bank of Australia board. The deputy chair of the organisation will be Mr David Thodey, chair of the CSIRO. The board will be joined by Phil Gaetjens as the Secretary of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Secretary of the Home Affairs Department, Mike Pezullo. – Prime Minister of Australia, 25 March 2020

  • The Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus Act 2020 legislative package implementing the Government’s economic response to the spread of the Coronavirus, which the Government announced between 12 and 22 March 2020, received assent from the Governor-General on 24 March 2020. – Federal Parliament, 24 March 2020

Coronavirus Economic Response package passes Federal Parliament

  • The Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus Act 2020 legislative package implementing the Government’s economic response to the spread of the Coronavirus, which the Government announced between 12 and 22 March 2020, received assent from the Governor-General on 24 March 2020. – Federal Parliament, 24 March 2020

Tourism Australia webinar with Minister Birmingham

  • On Friday 27 March, Minister Birmingham will talk about different government initiatives in response to COVID-19.

  • This is the first of weekly webinars that Tourism Australia will be hosting to update the industry on the latest announcements and measures being made to support industry during this crisis - Tourism Australia

Victorian Accommodation Inventory

  • Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) has been approached to assist the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions to quickly secure inventory so that they can provide accommodation as a precautionary quarantine measure for the purposes of self-isolation, housing vulnerable people, and/or to support essential service workers.

  • The government will support this initiative and will provide a financial contribution to secure these rooms for a period of time, initially up to a three month period.

    - They are working as quickly as possible to provide extra capacity and will need accommodation providers in both metropolitan Melbourne and regional communities to provide information on the inventory they are prepared to contribute to this effort quickly, so they can understand where there is available supply and the types of room available.
  • They are prepared to offer $120 per room per night (inclusive of GST) for a committed period of 3 months, with potential for further activation depending on future need.

  • In this initial phase, government will be seeking to secure 1000 rooms for this inventory pool, with the potential for more as demand dictates.

  • At this stage it is only VTIC that has been requested to facilitate this offer.

  • It’s possible that this concept will be extended to other facilities such as convention centres, who are already part of emergency response plans for other critical events requiring evacuation and sheltering.

Accommodation Association of Australia offer to federal government

  • On behalf of Quest Apartment Hotels, the Accommodation Association of Australia (AAA) made a formal offer to the federal government last week to turn up to 80 of its hotels into quarantine or isolation facilities as they require them.

  • Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, on Sunday warned his state government was looking at acquiring hotels for the purpose of quarantining people.

  • Again, this concept to be extended to include other facilities such as convention centres.
    - Australian Financial Review, 23 March 2020

Postponement of September local government elections in NSW

  • The NSW Government has made the decision to postpone the September local government elections for 12 months in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The NSW Electoral Commissioner has also requested that the Government postpone the council elections.
    Minister for Local Government, 25 March 2020

Prime Minister and Chief Medical Officer address: Update on COVID-19 measures, 27 March 2020

  • All international arrivals to Australia will be required to quarantine themselves in a hotel or other accommodation for two weeks before returning home. The Australia Defence Force will assist States and Territories implement self-isolation checks.

  • Government is planning a ‘hibernation’ package for businesses, which would essentially pause outgoings. The objective is to ensure that a business is preserved and supported through the crisis and can return to operations again once the crisis subsides. The Government envisages that arrangements will need to be met where the burden can be shared by banks, landlords, energy companies. Treasurer and PM are seeking to keep people connected to their businesses.

  • On school closures – schools will pursue arrangements with State and Territory governments.

  • Cautioned against the term ‘lockdown’ – the PM said people will be able to leave their homes to access essential supplies (the things they need to live for the next six months).

  • On essential services - the Government’s approach is to identify activities that are undertaken at premises which pose a risk for transmission and should cease – rather than drawing a clear line here and now on what is ‘on or out’, they are being specific about what is restricted. The Prime Minister reiterated that government is looking to keep open every service they possibly can.

  • Going forward, States and Territories will be at different stages of the virus, so there will be variation in how far restrictions go in each part of the country.

  • On residential tenancies – the Federal Government is working with States and Territories to get a consistent approach.

  • On private hospitals – the Federal Government is working with private hospitals to ensure clinicians who are stood down from elective surgery remain available for responding to coronavirus. 30% of intensive care is in private hospitals. State, Territory and Commonwealth government are committed to keeping private hospitals fully staffed.

  • On ICU capacity: advanced work is being done to increase intensive care capacity (3x or more), working very closely with ANZICS, and to increase supply of ventilators

  • Regulations are being implemented to prevent people taking PPE out of Australia.

G20 leaders’ statement

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison met with G20 leaders on 26 March, to discuss joint measures to slow spread and impact of COVID-19.

  • A joint health response: partnership for research on vaccine and anti-viral drugs.

  • Expand manufacturing capacity for medical supplies to ensure they are widely available at an affordable price on an equitable basis.

  • Fiscal measures are being taken by all nations. Australia’s stimulus package is worth nearly 10 percent of GDP.

  • Australia will support the Pacific and Timor-Leste through development assistance.

Prime Minister and Treasurer: JobKeeper payments, 30 March 2020

  • Eligible businesses will receive a subsidy of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee for a period of 6 months from 1 March 2020.

  • Every eligible employee must receive at least $1,500 per fortnight from this business, before tax. If the employee was earning less than $1,500 per fortnight, then the full $1,500 must still be passed on to them.

  • For a business still operating, they must continue to pay their staff their regular income but will receive the $1500 payment to subsidise each wage. They must continue to pay the superannuation guarantee on their employee's income.

  • For a business that has stood down employees, the employer will be required to pay them a minimum $1500 a fortnight. Paying the superannuation guarantee is at the employer's discretion in this case.

  • The program commences 30 March 2020, with the first payments to be received by eligible businesses in the first week of May as monthly arrears from the Australian Taxation Office. Eligible businesses can begin distributing the JobKeeper payment immediately and will be reimbursed from the first week of May. 

  • Eligible employers will be those with annual turnover of less than $1 billion who self-assess that have a reduction in revenue of 30 per cent or more, since 1 March 2020 over a minimum one-month period. 

  • Eligible employers include businesses structured through companies, partnerships, trusts and sole traders. Not for profit entities, including charities, will also be eligible.

  • Eligible employees are full time, part time, and long term casuals (over 12 months on a regular basis) including those stood down or rehired.

  • Eligible employees include Australian residents, New Zealand citizens in Australia who hold a subclass 444 special category visa, and migrants who are eligible for JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance (Other). 

  • Eligible businesses can apply for the payment online and are able to register their interest via ato.gov.au All international arrivals to Australia will be required to quarantine themselves in a hotel or other accommodation for two weeks before returning home. The Australia Defence Force will assist States and Territories implement self-isolation checks. Prime Minister of Australia Media Statement, 30 March 2020