09 April 2020 – Latest Update from Tourism Australia
JobKeeper passes – Today the Australian Government passed its $130bn JobKeeper wage recovery package to support Australian workers and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic – a much needed boost for our sector. This brings the Government’s total support for the economy in response to the coronavirus to $320 billion. Information about the measures and how you may benefit is set out in more detail below.
Webinar tomorrow – Also as a reminder – to keep up to date with developments our webinar is on tomorrow at 11am. We will talk about mental health, China and the $billion fund. You can register for the webinar here.
Happy Easter – and keep dreaming! If you can’t join us tomorrow, I’d like to take the opportunity to wish you all a happy and safe Easter. Please stay at home and use the time to look after yourself and your loved-ones and, of course dream and plan for your next Australian adventure.
With Love from Aus
Australia’s tourism industry demonstrated strong growth in 2019, according to the latest International Visitor Survey and National Visitor Survey data, highlighting the important role tourism will play in the economic recovery when the COVID-19 crisis passes. For more information.
On 3 April 2020, Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister announced a continuing network of flights to four key international hubs will be established — London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Auckland — for the next four weeks to help Australians get home by commercial means.
Australia’s borders remain closed to international visitors.
Australians reminded to stay at home this Easter
The Prime Minister and state and territory leaders have reiterated that Australians must stay at home this Easter and should not undertake unnecessary holiday travel. Western Australia has in place instra-strate checkpoints to prevent regional travel as well as bans on interstate travel. In Queensland, borders are closed to inter-state travellers and a number of Gold Coast beaches have been fenced off. Travel to Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), Moorgumpin (Moreton Island) and K’gari (Fraser Island) is only permitted by people who live there, work there, or are travelling for other permitted purposes.
The Federal Government yesterday released the modelling behind Australia’s Coronavirus response. It shows how the virus could spread through the Australian population under different scenarios but does not predict the future or factually represent Australia’s current position.
Early data suggests physical distancing and other measures taken in Australia are slowing the growth in cases to a point where the health system can meet expected demand. In the two weeks since the Australian Government and states and territories implemented restrictions on international arrivals and put in place strict social distancing measures, the rate at which COVID-19 cases increase on average each day has fallen from just over 22% to around 2%. However, it is too soon to tell whether this trend will be sustained.
Stimulus and support
In the past weeks, the Australian Government has announced numerous measures to stimulate our economy and support businesses in the wake of the coronavirus. States and Territories have also introduced their own stimulus initiatives. Below is a summary of some of the most recent Federal measures. You should consult official government sources for the latest information including your state, territory and local governments.
The Australian Parliament convened today to pass the JobKeeper wage recovery package. This brings the Government’s total support for the Australian economy in response to the coronavirus to $320 billion, representing 16.4 per cent of annual GDP. The package includes support for long-term casual employees, and part-time workers. National Cabinet will meet again on 9 April 2020.
Code of conduct for rent relief for small and medium enterprises approved
National Cabinet agreed yesterday that states and territories would implement the mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Tenancies. The Rent Relief Policy will include a mutual obligation requirement on the small and medium sized enterprises and not-for-profit tenants to continue to engage their employees through the JobKeeper initiative where eligible, and if applicable, provide rent relief to their subtenants.
People working in critical sectors (aged and disability care, childcare, agriculture and so on) now have more flexibility in their working holiday visas. For those WHM, they will be exempt from the six month work limitation with one employer unless they do not feel confident to sustain themselves for the next six months, in which case they have been advised to make arrangements to go home. For more information visit here.
Wage subsidies available to small businesses
Registrations are open for small businesses, and other eligible employers, to apply for a 50 per cent wage subsidy of their apprentice’s or trainee’s wage from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Read more.
Two support programs aimed at keeping regional airlines afloat are now open for applications:
- The COVID-19 Regional Airline Network Support Program to support critical air services to connect regional Australia to freight, medical testing, supplies and essential personnel; and
- The Australian Airline financial relief package to assist the domestic airline industry in response to the economic pressures created by the impact of COVID-19 by reducing operational cost pressures to improve the ability of airlines to maintain services.
Further details are available at grants.gov.au
New job hub launched to help Australians find work
The Australian Government has launched a Jobs Hub website to help Australians find work during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Jobs Hub advertises the latest vacancies from businesses across Australia. Find work here.
After 11 weeks in lockdown, Chinese authorities are allowing residents of Wuhan, the original epicentre of the coronavirus to once again travel in and out of the city. The city’s 11 million residents are now permitted to leave without special authorisation as long as a mandatory smartphone application shows they are healthy and have not been in recent contact with anyone confirmed to have the virus.
City officials, marked the lifting of the lockdown with a light show, social media campaigns led by state media, and special events to celebrate the reopening of airports, stations and factories. China Eastern said it was operating 30 flights from Wuhan to other cities in China, like Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, with more than 1,600 trips booked. More than 55,000 passengers have booked tickets to leave the city, according to the railway operator. Long-distance buses have also resumed service.
Japanese Prime Minister Abe yesterday declared a State of Emergency, invoked social distancing measures while announcing a $1 trillion stimulus package.Prime Minister Abe called on people to reduce their contact with others by 70-80% and to work from home and asked companies to stagger shifts for employees who cannot work remotely.
The state of emergency will last until 6 May and initially apply to Tokyo and six other prefectures: Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka. Japan has so far avoided the large number of coronavirus cases and deaths, but there is growing alarm over the rise in infections in the capital, particularly among young people.
Paris has banned daytime outdoor exercise as the death toll has risen over 10,000. The ban followed a sunny weekend marked by large groups of people running and walking in the city’s parks, despite police controls that include fines for violating the lockdown.