State and Federal Governments are continuing to respond to the developing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation.
The newly-formed National Cabinet has been established to manage Australia’s response to COVID-19, and will continue to meet to discuss these public health issues and the appropriate responses going forward.
It is important that people take advice from official sources;
- The Federal Department of Health website: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
- The NSW Health website: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx
- You can also call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080
The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is the same way you would protect yourself from
catching flu or other respiratory illness:
- clean your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based sanitiser with at least 60 per cent alcohol
- cover your sneeze or cough with your elbow or with tissue
- avoid close contact with people who are ill
- avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- stay home if you are sick
A number of large events have been cancelled or postponed to limit the risk of infecting others, and all entrants to Australia, including returning residents and citizens, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. NSW will continue to support the Federal Government in implementing this requirement.
Both State and Federal Governments have also prepared economic responses to the virus.
The Federal Government has announced a 17.6 billion economic stimulus plan that will:
- Subsidise half the wages of 117,000 apprentices in small businesses.
- Provide one-off $750 payments to more than six million Australians to spend in our economy now. Almost two-and-a-half million pensioners will receive this support.
- Give direct cash support of up to $25,000 for small and medium sized business that employ over seven million Australians, to boost their cash flow.
- Back businesses to keep investing by increasing tax incentives to help them buy new equipment now.
The NSW Government has announced a $2.3 billion economic stimulus package, which will provide:
- $700 million extra funding for NSW Health to double intensive care capacity, prepare for additional COVID-19 testing, purchase additional ventilators and medical equipment, establish acute respiratory clinics and bring forward elective surgeries to private hospitals.
- $450 million for the waiver of payroll tax for businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million 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.
- $56 million to bring forward the next round of payroll tax cuts by raising the threshold limit to $1 million in 2020-21.
- $80 million to waive a range of fees and charges for small businesses including bars, cafes, restaurants and tradies.
- $250 million to employ additional cleaners of public infrastructure such as transport assets, schools and other public buildings.
- More than $250 million to bring forward maintenance on public assets including social housing and crown land fencing.
- $500 million to bring forward capital works and maintenance.
Click here for more detail on the State stimulus package.