State Governments Economic Response - State by State
In addition to the Federal Government efforts, each State Government has also released their own measures. A summary of each State’s actions is as follows:
On 11 March 2020, the South Australia Government announced a $350 million stimulus package that will include current infrastructure projects being brought forward, as well as new projects around road maintenance, housing, tourism and health.
On the 16 March 2020, the WA Government announced a $607 million stimulus package to support WA households and small businesses in the wake of COVID-19 with measures including:
$402 million to freeze household fees and charges until at least 1 July 2021;
a freeze that will apply to entire 'household basket', including electricity, water, motor vehicle charges, emergency services levy and public transport fares;
Energy Assistance Payments (EAP) doubled to $600 to support vulnerable Western Australians, including pensioners;
$114 million in additional measures to support small businesses;
a one-off grant of $17,500 to payroll tax-paying businesses with an Australian payroll between $1m and $4m (with 7,400 Western Australian businesses expected to benefit from the grant which will automatically be paid by cheque from July);
the $1 million payroll tax threshold being brought forward 1 July 2020 (six months earlier than previously planned); and
deferral of payroll tax payments until 21 July 2020 for businesses impacted by COVID-19 that pay $7.5m or less in Australian taxable wages.
On the 17 March 2020, the QLD Government announced a $500m loan facility that will be created to support businesses, which will comprise loans of up to $250,000 with an initial 12-month interest free period for businesses to retain staff. Information on the concessional loans is available at www.qrida.qld.gov.au.
The initial 6-month payroll tax deferral will also be extended to all businesses across the State. This payroll tax relief means that businesses will not need to lodge or pay payroll tax returns until31 July 2020. Further information on payroll tax deferral is available at https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/employing/payroll-tax/lodging/coronavirus-tax-relief.
As with the initial payroll tax deferral offer, the QLD Office of State Revenue will also work with affected businesses to create repayment plans for the deferred tax liabilities.
A $27.25 million package was also announced to provide immediate assistance to help Queensland manage the impacts of the COVID-19 including the following:
a $3.66m commercial fishing industry assistance package;
temporary fee relief for commercial tourism operators;
fees waived for liquor and gaming business applying to change trading hours or change a licenced area; and
market diversification and resilience grants of up to $50,000 for agriculture, fishing and food exporters.
New South Wales
On the 17 March 2020, the NSW Government announced a stimulus package with two key components — $700 million in extra health funding and $1.6 billion in tax cuts to support jobs - to help to protect communities and jobs in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak over the next six months. Key elements of the package include the following:
$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) (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; and
$500 million to bring forward capital works and maintenance.
On the 17 March 2020, the Tasmania Government announced a $420 million package comprising stimulus measures targeted at the hospitality tourism, seafood and exports sectors. Measures include:
Payroll tax waivers for the last four months of this financial year for hospitality, tourism, seafood and exports sectors (Other businesses with payrolls of up to $5 million will be able to apply, based on the impact of virus, to have their payroll tax waived for April to June 2020);
$20m in interest-free loans to the hospitality, tourism, seafood and exports sectors to be made available to businesses with a turnover of less than $5 million to purchase equipment or restructuring business operations and will be interest free, for three years.
$50m in interest-free loans for local governments to upgrade, renovate and to do necessary maintenance to improve tourism and other assets, so when visitor numbers bounce back, Tasmania is ready;
and $50m in maintenance on public buildings brought forward to provide an injection into local trades around the state and continue to support confidence in local communities.
On the 18 March 2020, the Northern Territory (NT) Government announced a $60 million coronavirus stimulus package to encourage spending on home renovations and business upgrades in an effort to prevent widespread job losses across the NT. Under the new ‘Home Improvement Scheme:
Homeowners will get a $6,000 grant for renovations if they spend $2,000;
Businesses will receive $20,000 if they spend $10,000 of their own;
Owners of residential and investment properties will receive a $6,000 grant for renovations if they contribute $2,000 of their own money; and
Eligible businesses will get an initial $10,000 grant for upgrades, and another $10,000 if they contribute $10,000 of their own money.
Business owners will be able to spend their grant on upgrades or equipment if purchased from an eligible Territory business. The schemes are expected to be up and running within the next few weeks.
On 20 March 2020, the ACT Government announced a $137 million stimulus package with business measures including the following:
a one-off six month waiver on payroll tax for affected industries;
deferral of payroll tax for 12 months for businesses that pay up to $10m in wages;
$750 rebates to small businesses through their next electricity bill;
$20m in funding for simple infrastructure works on public buildings;
rental support of $250 for all public housing tenants, as well as a one-off rebate for residential utility concession holders of $200; and
a freeze on a number of ACT Government fees and charges, including the fire and emergency services levy, public transport, vehicle registration and parking fees.
The Victorian Government has announced a $1.7 billion three-stage assistance package to assist Victorian Businesses struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stage 1 will consist of $550m which will go to 24,000 small and medium sized enterprises with a payroll of less than $3m as a payroll tax refund.
Stage 2 will consist of $500m being placed into a fund for hardship payments, small grants and tailored support which would be distributed in consultation with the Victorian chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Hotels Association, the Australian Industry Group and other industry representatives.
Stage 3, worth more than $600m, includes a range of measures such as the waiving of 125,000 venues liquor license fees due this month and support for people who have lost their jobs.
This is an evolving situation and as such further updates and announcements are expected to be made over the coming days, weeks and (possibly) months. Please stay in touch with us via this webpage, or our Facebook page for future updates.