Coronavirus – State and Territory Government Support

Coronavirus Information and Resources

COVID-19 measures announced by the State and Territory Governments to provide support during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Australian Capital Territory

COVID-19 Economic Survival Package

Contact: Business Liaison Team, 02 6205 0900

A Public Health Emergency has been declared in the ACT and a $137 million Economic Survival Package has been announced in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

  • Deferral of payroll tax: All ACT businesses with Group Australia-wide wages of up to $10m can defer their 2020-21 payroll tax, interest free until 1 July 2022
  • Waiver of payroll tax: Hospitality (cafes, pubs, hotels, clubs and restaurants), creative arts and entertainment industries will receive a one-off, six-month waiver of payroll tax from April to September 2020.
  • Power bills: Small business owners with electricity usage below 100 megawatts per year will see rebates of $750 automatically applied to their next electricity bill in around June or July 2020.
  • Waiver of licensing fees: Licenced venues will receive a 12-month waiver of their food business registration and on-licence liquor licencing fees from 1 April 2020 and outdoor dining fees for 2020-2021 will be waived.
  • Commercial rates rebate: Commercial property owners with an Average Unimproved Value of $2m or less on their property are eligible for a rebate on their commercial rates fixed charge.

 

New South Wales

Contact: 13 28 46 

Health and Economic Stimulus Package, 17 March 2020

The NSW Government has announced a $2.3 billion Health and Economic Stimulus Package to protect the community and help protect jobs in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak over the next six months. Two key components: $700 million in extra health funding and $1.6 billion in tax cuts to support jobs.

Health boost

  • $700m extra funding for NSW Health. This will assist in doubling ICU capacity, preparing for additional COVID-19 testing, purchasing additional ventilators and medical equipment, establishing acute respiratory clinics and bringing forward elective surgeries to private hospitals.

Business support and jobs

  • $450m for the waiver of payroll tax for businesses with payrolls of up to $10m for three months (the rest of 2019-20). This means these businesses will save a quarter of their annual payroll tax bill in 2019-20.
  • $56m to bring forward the next round of payroll tax cuts by raising the threshold limit to $1m in 2020-21.
  • $80m to waive a range of fees and charges for small businesses including bars, cafes, restaurants and tradies.
  • $250m to employ additional cleaners of public infrastructure such as transport assets, schools and other public buildings.
  • More than $250m to bring forward maintenance on public assets including social housing and crown land fencing.
  • $500m to bring forward capital works and maintenance.

NSW Treasury Stage 2 Package, 27 March 2020 

The NSW Government has announced a Stage 2 Package which focuses on keeping people in jobs and helping businesses stay afloat.

  • The creation of a $1 billion Working for NSW fund to sustain business, create new jobs and retrain employees. The fund is already being put into action with 1000 new staff for Service NSW announced this week to be funded by the program. The Working for NSW fund will comprise $750 million in new funding and $250 million announced last week for additional cleaning services.
  • Deferral of payroll tax for business with payrolls over $10 million for six months (up to $4 billion deferred).
  • Businesses with payrolls of $10 million or less received a three-month waiver on payroll tax in the first package. These businesses will now get an additional three-month deferral as well.
  • Deferral of gaming tax for clubs, pubs and hotels, and lotteries tax for six months, conditional on these funds being used to retain staff. This improves liquidity and helps these businesses stay afloat.
  • Deferral of the parking space levy for six months.
  • Deferral of rents for six months for commercial tenants with less than 20 employees in all Government-owned properties. Helping our most vulnerable
  • $34 million boost in funding to prevent homelessness.
  • $30 million to boost the Energy Accounts Payments Assistance scheme.
  • $10 million to support charities and $6 million additional funding for Lifeline’s operations in NSW.

Northern Territory

Jobs Rescue and Recovery Plan, 26 March 2020

The Northern Territory (NT) Government announced a $65 million Jobs Rescue and Recovery Plan to help stimulate the economy and keep Territorians in jobs.

  • Business Improvement Scheme: $20m Business Improvement Scheme. Up to $20k for business improvements (if sourced from local territory suppliers).
  • Business Structural Adjustment Package: $5m allocated for businesses who need to physically adjust to the 100 person rule or to establish or upgrade their online presence.
  • Immediate Works Grants Package: $5m for incorporated not-for-profit and community organisations. Grants of up to $100,000 will be given to these organisations to engage local business to do repairs, renovations and upgrades to their facilities.
  • Freezing government fees and charges and electricity prices: All Government fees and charges – including electricity, water and car registration will be frozen (no increase due to indexation) until 1 July 2021.
  • Home Improvement Scheme: $30m
  • Payroll tax exemption: for hiring Territory employees has been extended to 30 June 2021.
  • Small Business Survival Fund: $50m, the fund will deliver grants to help keep small businesses alive, even if shut.

 

Queensland

Contact: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)

The Queensland Government announced a $4 billion COVID-19 Economic Relief Recovery Package to support the businesses, workers and households.

COVID-19 Essential Information, 26 March 2020

COVID-19 Reflief Package, 24 March 2020

Payroll Relief, 24 March 2020

Interest Free Loans, 17 March 2020

Agricultural Jobs - Loan Scheme, 18 March 2020

  • $2.5b for workers and industry: up to $500m to assist workers who lose their job or income with retraining, job-matching and other help to transition into jobs in the industries that are vital to get Queensland through this crisis – such as health care, agriculture, food production, transport, cleaning and mining
  • Industry Support Package: will assist large businesses through this period to ensure they will be able to scale up and service the community when economic activity improves. For further detail on the Industry Support Package email COVID19ISP@treasury.qld.gov.au.
  • Queensland COVID-19 Jobs Support Loans: new $500m loan facility, interest free for the first 12 months, to support Queensland businesses impacted by COVID-19 retain employees and maintain their operations. The $500m concessional loan facility will comprise low interest loans of up to $250,000 for carry on finance with an initial 12-month interest free period for businesses to retain staff
  • Payroll Tax Arrangements: The new payroll tax initiative enables eligible businesses with an annual Australian wage bill of up to $6.5m to self-assess whether their economic indicators like turnover, bookings, contracts or profit have been impacted by business conditions associated with coronavirus. Small and medium Queensland businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak will be able to defer their payroll tax payment for six months under a new relief measure announced.
  • Agricultural industry loans scheme: The Queensland Government has approved a $30m extension to a crucial agricultural industry loans scheme.

 

South Australia

Contact: Business SA: 1300 142 820

Initial Economic Stimulus Package, 11 March 2020

The South Australian Government has announced a $350 million package focused on driving the economy and securing jobs through major road and hospital upgrades to significant tourism infrastructure and increased funding for the state’s Economic and Business Growth Fund to support industry sectors.

Jobs Rescue Package, 26 March 2020

Details to come, but the package will allocate about $650 million to saving South Australian jobs and supporting key industries and local businesses survive throughout an unprecedented economic emergency.

 

Tasmania

Contact: Business Tasmania Hotline: 1800 440 026

Social and Economic Support Package, 26 March 2020 

The Tasmanian Government announced a second state stimulus package bringing the State’s response to the coronavirus crisis to almost $1b.

Health

  • $150m to purchase essential equipment, supplies and provide additional staff.
  • Increase funding for primary healthcare from $2m to $5m.
  • $5m in increased funding towards child safety and well-being, and family violence systems, as these areas respond to COVID-19.
  • Investing $4m into mental health support to plan and respond to COVID-19, which is $3m more than that announced last week.

Businesses and Jobs

Government fees will be frozen, waived and capped, including:

  • Water and electricity bills will be waived for the first quarterly bill received after 1 April this year for small business customers on Tariffs 22, 94, 82 or 75, including small businesses on market contracts that could access these tariffs.
  • Next financial year, electricity bills will be capped, and water bills will be frozen.
  • Fees and charges subject to the Government Fee Units Act 1997 will be frozen as well.
  • The Government will also waive fees and charges relating to the roads component of motor tax for heavy vehicles and vehicle registration where that business has been severely impacted because of measures taken to manage COVID-19.
  • Payroll tax waivers for the hospitality, tourism and seafood sectors, and for Tasmanian businesses with payrolls less $5m announced in the first Tasmanian Stimulus Package will be extended to ensure that these industries pay no payroll tax for the entire 2019-20 year. This will include refunds and waivers to provide cash where it is required now.
  • Boost funding for Rapid Response Skills Initiative: $6.3m to rapidly retrain Tasmanians into emerging industries where necessary and to assist with job-matching in our rapidly changing labour market. Up to $3,000 will be available for individuals to gain skills or licences to help them into a new role.
  • Businesses that have immediate job needs and opportunities available, will be able to access a job-ready pool, including to match people to our immediate priority skills needs, such as in health and retail industries.
  • The Government has extended the Local Government Loan Scheme from $50m to $150m. This is in addition to bringing forward $50m of maintenance in public buildings and assets, including public housing, announced last week.

For small business, the Government will also: 

  • Increase the Small Business Interest Free Loan Scheme from $20m to $50m which is now available for businesses with turnovers less than $10m.
  • A new $40m Small Business Grants Program with $20m set aside for an emergency grants program of $2500 cash payments.
  • Provide a Digital Ready for Business Program, to assist businesses take their business online.
  • Provide Business Continuity Advice with $750,000 in funding made available for businesses to seek cashflow and continuity advice, including a $50,000 grant to Small Business Council of Tasmania.
  •  A further $200,000 will be provided to the THA to provide business continuity and cashflow advice, and $200,000 will be provided to Rural Business Tasmania for the extension of its Rural Financial Counselling service.

Specific industry Support

  • An additional $1.8m for fisheries fees and licence relief for 12 months (in addition to the 12-month waiver for annual fees for Rock Lobster, Giant Crab, wild capture Fin Fisheries and Abalone Divers which has a full cost of $3.7m.
  • $1.5m to support the Creative and Cultural Industries.  We will also extend arts organisation contracts due to expire by one year, supporting 19 organisations to manage through this period of disruption, manage cashflow and continue to employ their staff wherever possible and feasible.
  • $2.6m towards an air freight service for time sensitive freight, including seafood, as well as providing freight and access to our Bass Strait Islands.
  • The Government will waive annual taxi licence fees for the calendar year 2020 at a cost of $240,000.

Households and Individuals

  • The Government will cap electricity prices and freeze water bills for the next financial year, at an estimated combined cost of $20m. The Government also welcomes measures by Aurora Energy to assist both residential and small businesses during COVID-19.
  • Freeze payment of the Community Fire levy next financial year.
  • Waive school levies for this year at a cost of $13m this calendar year. For those who have already paid their schools levies, the Government will arrange for these to be refunded.
  • The Government will not increase rent for social housing tenants and will not count federal Government emergency payments as income for the purposes of calculating rent contributions to leave more money in the hands of low-income households, and in local economies at a cost of around $6.7m.
  • The Government will also increase funding to the Private Rental Incentive Scheme by up to 75 houses to increase the pool of available houses.
  • The Government will also do its part and will provide casual workers in the state sector with two weeks special leave if they are required to self-isolate.

Community organisations

  • The Government will also boost its COVID-19 funding for community organisations from an initial $1m announced last week to $5m. This funding will enable NGOs to support vulnerable people through the provision of food hampers, medical supplies or counselling.
  • The Government will provide $2.7m in measures to address family violence including rapid rehousing, improved and increased services, and one-off packages.
  • Provide a further $2.5m to enhance the child safety and well-being system.
  • The Government will also provide $2m for a grants program to support the ongoing viability and operation of sporting clubs and associations.

Tasmanian Support & Stimulus Package, 18 March 2020

COVID-19 Comprehensive Information

The Tasmanian Government has announced a $420 million support package. 

  • Interest-free loans: $20m for the provision of interest free loans to businesses in the hospitality, tourism, seafood and exports sectors that have a turnover of less than $5m. $50m in interest free loans to local governments to upgrade and improve local tourist facilities around the state such as rest areas, rest and change rooms, toilets and visitor centres.
  • Waiver of payroll tax: for the last four months of this financial year for hospitality, tourism and seafood industry businesses, saving businesses around $7m. Other small to medium businesses who may be affected by coronavirus can apply to have their payroll tax payments waived from March to June 2020, saving them up to $9m.
  • Reducing the normal terms of trade for payments by government agencies from 30 days to 14 days, thereby putting cash back into businesses more quickly.
  • Hiring apprentices or trainees: $2.1m for one-off $5,000 grants for businesses that hire an apprenticeship or trainee, complementing the Federal Government’s apprenticeship package.
  • Government Maintenance Program: $50m allocated to fast track maintenance on public buildings over the next 12 months. This will provide an injection into local trades around the state and continue to support confidence in local communities.
  • Youth Employment Scheme: The Scheme provides a payroll tax rebate for one year, to businesses that employ a young person aged 24 and under, between April and December 2020.  

Victoria

Contact: Business Victoria 13 22 15

Economic Survival and Jobs Package

The Victorian Government has announced a $1.7 billion Economic Survival and Jobs Package to assist Victorian businesses struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

  • Payroll Tax Refund: Businesses with annual taxable wages up to $3m will have their payroll tax for the 2019-20 financial year waived. This will support 24,000 businesses and up to 400,000 workers.
  • SMEs: $550m which would go to 24,000 small and medium-sized enterprises with a payroll of less than $3m as a payroll tax refund.
  • Business Support Fund: The $500m Business Support Fund will support the hardest hit sectors, including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail. The Government will work with the Victorian Chamber, Australian Hotels Association and Australian Industry Group to deliver the Fund, which will help these businesses – which may not be eligible for payroll tax refunds due to their size – survive and keep people in work.
  • Working for Victoria Fund: Under the $500m Working for Victoria Fund, displaced workers will be eligible to apply for different types of work. This presents opportunities for paid work and an opportunity to contribute to Victoria’s ability to manage this event and support the community.
  • Land tax deferral: Landowners that have at least one nonresidential property and total taxable landholdings below $1m have the option of deferring their 2020 land tax payment until after 31 December 2020.

Western Australia 

Contact: Business Support 133 140

COVID-19 Economic Response, 16 March 2020

The Western Australian State Government has announced a $607 million Economic Stimulus Package to provide relief for businesses and households. 

The Busineass related package, focused on SMEs, includes $114m in measures to support Western Australian small and medium businesses. This includes:

  • Payroll tax paying businesses with a payroll between $1m and $4m will receive a one-off grant of $17,500 to assist them to manage the impacts of COVID-19
  • Fast-tracking additional payroll tax relief for small businesses, with the payroll tax threshold increasing to $1m from July 1, 2020, six months earlier than planned.

In addition, small and medium sized businesses affected by COVID-19 can now apply to defer payment of their 2019-20 payroll tax until July 21, 2020 for business with $7.5m or less in Australian Taxable Wages and have been directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19.

Economic and Health Relief Package, 31 March 2020

The Western Australian State Government has announced a $1 billion Economic and Health Relief Package to provide household, business and community services assistance as well as additional industry support. 

Household assistance 

  • Further relief for households experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, including extension of the Energy Assistance Payment, no disconnections for power and water and additional support for Keystart customers

Small and medium-sized business assistance

  • $502 million for small businesses including a reduction in electricity bills, licences fees waived, and additional payroll tax relief
  • Electricity bills - $2,500 credit available from 1 May 2020 for customers that consumer less than 50MWh per annuum.($236.8m relief)
  • Payroll tax – waived for a four-month period (1 March to 30 June) for SME business with wages less than $7.5m. ($165m relief)
  • Waiver of licence fees –  for SMEs in COVID-impacted industries – building, trades, tourism, fisheries, taxis, real estate. ($100.4m relief)
  • Interest-free payment arrangement and waiver of late payment penalties for payroll tax, transfer duty, landholder duty, vehicle licence duty or land tax (by application).
  • No water or power disconnections due to late payments by SMEs who consumer 50MWh or less.
  • New initiatives to apply until September 30, 2020

Community services assistance

  • Credit for electricity bills also extended to 2800 charities and funding certainty for community service providers who contract with government agencies until at least 30 June.

Additional industry support

  • An additional $500 million allocated to health and other frontline service delivery, and capacity for additional industry support
  • Budget deferred until October 8, 2020 for Government to focus on COVID-19