Federal Parliament has passed important coronavirus economic support measures that will cushion the blow of the coronavirus for Australians, including those living in rural and regional areas.

Nationals Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government Mark Coulton welcomed the news that Bills had passed Parliament on Monday night across two economic support packages worth $17.6 billion (package 1) and $66 billion (package 2).

Mr Coulton said the Nationals in Government’s assistance would provide support to regional and rural areas, where many were still feeling the effects of drought, bushfires and floods.

The Government has also set aside a further $40 billion for urgent and unforeseen spending associated with the pandemic.

Farm Household Allowance, jobseeker, youth allowance, parenting and special benefit payments will be boosted by a Coronavirus Supplement of $550 a fortnight from 27 April 2020.

In addition to the $750 stimulus payment already announced, the Federal Government will provide a further $750 payment to social security and veteran income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders, except those who are receiving an income support payment that is eligible to receive the Coronavirus Supplement.

If you’re submitting a claim for a Jobseeker payment, you can do this online 24/7. Online service capacity is being increased and we encourage you to apply in the period ahead.

The Government’s business hotline will give more support to small and medium businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Operations at the business.gov.au 13 28 46 Contact Centre have increased from 5 days per week to 7 days per week. The centre is also offering additional hours of support outside standard operating hours for the first month, answering calls from 7am to 11pm AEST.

For more information on how to get assistance in these uncertain times, visit: australia.gov.au.