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COVID-19 UPDATES

Job Keeper Payment for Employers

Businesses with revenue <1Bil and have a 30% downturn in revenue plus businesses with >1Bil and have a 50% downturn in revenue are eligible to receive a fortnightly job keeper flat payment of $1,500 per employee This is for each Permanent, Part Time and Casual employee (if the casual employee has been employed by you for over 12 months).

Enrolments are still open through the ATO online services after 31 May 2020 but cannot be backdated. The application cutoff for each month is the end of the month you wish to claim for e.g. to claim for July you must apply before 31 July 2020.   If you have employees you will need to ask them to complete a JobKeeper employee nomination notice and return it to you by the end of the month in which yolyu want to start claiming.

You must make a business monthly declaration each month to claim JobKeeper payments for the previous month. You need to do this between the 1st and 14th of the month (e.g., to be reimbursed for JobKeeper paymnets in June you need to complete your declaration by 14 July).

Job Keeper Payment for Soles Traders and other entities

Sole traders and some other entities (such as partnerships trusts or companies) may be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment if their turnover has reduced. Following registration by the eligible business, the Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee for a maximum of 6 months. This will support sole traders to maintain their income and connection with employees.

Enrolments are still open through the ATO online services after 31 May 2020 but cannot be backdated. The application cutoff for each month is the end of the month you wish to claim for e.g. to claim for Julne you must apply before 31 July 2020.   If you have employees you will need to ask them to complete a JobKeeper employee nomination notice and return it to you by the end of the month in which you want to start claiming.

You must make a business monthly declaration each month to claim JobKeeper payments for the previous month. You need to do this between the 1st and 14th of the month (e.g., to be reimbursed for JobKeeper paymnets in June you need to complete your declaration by 14 July).

 

Job Keeper changes to the Fair Work Act

To support the implementation and operation of the JobKeeper scheme in Australian workplaces, temporary JobKeeper provisions have been added to the Fair Work Act (Fair Work Act JobKeeper provisions). These provisions apply to employers who have qualified for the JobKeeper scheme and their eligible employee. They started on 9 April 2020 and end on 28 September 2020.

The new provisions enable employers who qualify for the JobKeeper scheme can temporarily: stand down an employee (including by reducing their hours or days of work); change an employee’s usual duties; and/or change an employee’s location of work.

The new provisions also enables employers who qualify for the JobKeeper scheme to make agreements with their employees to change their days and times of work and take annual leave in certain circumstances.

Planning checklists to help businesses reopen and be COVIDSafe

It is important to have a COVIDSafe plan to keep your workplace healthy, safe and virus-free. The Federal Government has created a checklist which is in three section: keeping people safe; adapting my business and accessing support and assistance. Select button below for details and to download the plan.

Boosting Cash Flow for Employers

Provide up to $100,000 back to businesses including NFPs, with a minimum payment of $20,000.

You do not need to apply for the cash flow boost. All you need to do is lodge your upcoming activity statements, and if you are eligible, the cash flow boost will be automatically credited to your activity statement account. The ATO website includes detailed information on how to determine if you are eligible.

Backing Business Investments (BBI)

A time limited 15 month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. This applies to eligible assets acquired from 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset cost.

SME Loan Guarantee Scheme

The Federal Government will provide a guarantee of 50% to small and medium enterprise’s (SME), including not-for-profit (turnover of less than $50 million) for new unsecured loans to be used for cash flow. The loans will be up to three years, with an initial six-month repayment holiday. There are no fees involve in submitting an application or for participating in the Scheme. Maximum loan $250,000 per borrower. The Scheme will be available for new loans made by participating lenders until 30 September 2020

Loans for Australian Exporters

Australian exporters impacted by the COVID-19 crisis will now have access to business-saving loans between $250,000 and $50 million under a new $500 million capital facility to be administered by Export Finance Australia. The loans are available to established and previously profitable exporters who, due to COVID-19, are unable to gain finance from commercial sources.

Small business loans: deferral of repayments

The ACCC has provided urgent interim authorisation to allow the Australian Banking Association (ABA) and banks to work together to implement a small business relief package. The package will allow for the deferral of principal and interest repayments for loans to small businesses, in all sectors, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The package includes a deferral of principal and interest repayments for all term loans and retail loans for 6 months, for small business customers will less than $3 million in total debt owed to credit providers. At the end of the deferral period businesses will not be required to pay the deferred interest in a lump sum. Either the term of the loan will be extended or the level of loan repayments will be increased.

Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package

The Australian Government has confirmed the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package will be extended until 12 July 2020. From 13 July 2020, Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) will recommence with the introduction of a number of new measures to support providers and families through this period. Select link for details

Apprentice and Trainee wage subsidy

Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of your apprentice or trainees wages for up to 9 months. Contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider to register.
Subsidies will cover wages paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Businesses will be reimbursed up to $7,000 per quarter, up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee. Final claims for payment must be lodged by 31 December 2020. 

Changes to Annual Leave in Fair Work Awards

​The determinations inserted a temporary new Schedule X into these 99 awards, which provided 2 weeks of unpaid pandemic leave and the ability to take twice as much annual leave at half their normal pay if their employer agreed. Schedule X in each award was initially due to end on 30 June 2020.

On 30 June 2020, the Commission extended Schedule X in some awards. There are different end dates for the extended unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave provisions in each award.

Applications have also been made to extend unpaid pandemic leave in a number of other awards. The Commission hasn’t issued final decisions about these applications yet. They have expressed the view that all of the schedules in those awards should be extended until 30 September 2020.

ATO temporary reduction of payment or deferrals

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will tailor solutions for owners or directors of businesses that are currently struggling due to the coronavirus, including temporary reductions of payments or deferrals, or withholding enforcement actions including Director Penalty Notice and wind-ups.

ATO – deferred GST on imports

As an importer, the deferred goods and services tax (DGST) scheme allows you to defer payment of GST on all taxable imports into Australia. You need to apply to the ATO for approval.

Agriculture & Fisheries: International Freight Support (IFAM) measures

Through the IFAM, the government is partially offsetting the cost of airfreight – reducing airfreight and freight forwarding costs for exporters and ensuring you can get your produce on flights and to internal customers quickly.
To access the IFAM you must register your interest

Agricultural seasonal employers must have a health management plan

Agricultural seasonal worker employers, transporters and accommodation providers must have a health management plan in place. Employers must comply with stringent record keeping on the health status of their workforce

AFMA Temporary Visa Measures

The Government will apply flexible arrangements to allow critical workers, including Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme participants and Working Holiday Makers, to extend their stay in Australia.

Visa’s during COVID-19

Select the toggle on the right hand side to view details of changes to Visa’s and the COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa.

Current Changes to Visa for COVID-19

COVID-19 Visa

A COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa has been made available within the existing Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa to temporary visa holders in Australia with expiring visas who:

  • Are unable to depart and are not eligible for any other visa; or
  • Have evidence from an employer that they have ongoing work in a critical sector.

For temporary visa holders in Australia, where their visa is about to cease and they are unable to return home or apply for another visa, the COVID-19 visa is available as a visa of last resort. In these circumstances, the visa will be granted for a period suitable for the individual’s circumstances up to a maximum period of six (6) months.

International students

The Government is taking a flexible approach in relation to student visa conditions where COVID-19 has prevented the visa condition(s) being met (such as course attendance requirements). There has been a temporarily relaxation of the enforcement of the 40 hour work limitation where the student visa holder is:

  • Studying a relevant medical course where they are working in support of coronavirus efforts and at the direction of a relevant state or territory health authority;
  • Employed at a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider; or
  • Employed in the aged care sector by an Approved Provider or Commonwealth funded aged care service provider.

Temporary Skilled visa holders

A range of safeguards is already in place to ensure that priority is given to Australian workers and that temporary skilled workers are employed only where a domestic shortage has been identified. It is crucial that the employment of Australians who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 period is prioritised above the employment of temporary skilled workers, where this is possible.

  • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa holders who have been stood down, but not laid off, will maintain their visa validity and businesses will have the opportunity to extend their visa as per normal arrangements. Businesses will also be able to reduce the hours of the visa holder without the person being in breach of their visa condition, or the business being in breach of their employer obligations.
  • Temporary visa holders who have been laid off (that is, unemployed) due to COVID-19, should find another employer within 60 days or make arrangements to depart Australia.
  • The COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa is also an option as a visa of last resort for those temporary visa holders unable to depart Australia or not eligible for another visa class.

Working Holiday Makers supporting critical sectors

To support the critical sectors of heath, aged and disability care, agriculture and food processing and childcare, some limited flexibility will be provided to Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa holders:

  • Working Holiday Makers who are working in these sectors will be exempt from the six month work limitation with one employer.
  • Working Holiday Makers who are working in these sectors and meet eligibility requirements should apply for a second or third Working Holiday Maker visa with a 12 month validity.
  • Where Working Holiday Makers working in critical sectors are not eligible for a further WHM visa, they can apply for the COVID-19 visa.

Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme

To support our agriculture sector, temporary visa measures have been introduced to help with the continuity of essential goods and services in response to COVID-19. Since 4 April 2020, visa conditions for Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme have been temporarily relaxed and options provided for these visa holders to extend their stay in Australia for a defined period:

  • Seasonal Worker Programme workers with visas due to expire are able to apply for the COVID-19 (subclass 408) visa in the Australian Government Endorsed Event visa stream.
  • Pacific Labour Scheme workers with visas due to expire can apply for a new Temporary Work (International Relations) (subclass 403) Pacific Labour Scheme stream visa.
  • Workers currently in Australia under these programs will also be exempt from the requirement to work for a single employer and will be able to move between approved employers, allowing flexibility and continued support for the agriculture sector in meeting seasonal workforce demands.
  • Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme arrangements, including those relating to employers, will be carried over to the new visa arrangements, continuing the link with the agricultural sector.

Bridging Visa holders

Persons whose visas have expired, or are about to expire, should consider returning to their home country if they are able to do so, particularly if they do not have family support. If individuals cannot depart Australia, they must apply for a Bridging Visa (BV) in order to regularise their visa status. Bridging Visa holders will be expected to depart Australia when travel restrictions are lifted. 

Persons who cannot resolve their visa status should contact the Department of Home Affairs’ Status Resolution Service (SRS) for assistance. Home Affairs officers can then explain visa options, help plan for departures from Australia and refer visa holders to other services where necessary.

Bridging Visa holders in Australia who are awaiting a decision on their visa application can still remain lawfully in Australia until a decision has been made on their substantive visa application. Bridging Visa holders may have permission to work, depending on the conditions of the Bridging Visa as detailed in the visa grant letter.

Access to Healthcare

People in all states and territories without access to Medicare or health insurance, including temporary visa holders and unlawful non-citizens, are able to access free COVID-19 testing and treatment.

Australian Government support for temporary visa holders

The Government has put into place a number of measures to assist visa holders, including to:

  • waive the Newly Arrived Resident Waiting Period for access to certain income support payments;
  • provide the JobKeeper wage subsidy for New Zealand citizen employees; 
  • allow access to up to $10,000 superannuation for most temporary visa holders working in Australia; and
  • allocate $7 million in funding to Red Cross to provide emergency relief to temporary visa holders, with temporary visa holders also able to access relief services from other community organisations.

The Red Cross emergency relief funding will provide small one-off emergency relief payments to people on temporary visas who have no way to support themselves and who have urgent needs. The funding will help people meet their basic needs like food, medicine or shelter. The funding will not be available to people who are eligible for State or Territory support for temporary visa holders (except those delivered by the Red Cross). More information is available on the Red Cross website: https://www.redcross.org.au/news-and-media/news/help-for-migrants-in-transition.

Other support for temporary visa holders

State and Territory governments are also providing practical and financial assistance for international students and other temporary visa holders, including asylum seekers and temporary protection visa holders.  Many student visa holders will also be able to access support from their education provider – universities have announced $145 million in assistance for this group. More information is available on the Study in Australia website: https://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/English/COVID-19-resource-hub/resource-hub 

AMSA – All National Law Exceptions have been extended until 30Jun25

AMSA have extended existing exemptions to provide seafarers and operators with continuity and certainty.

If you are currently operating under an exemption that expires on the 30 June 2020, it has now been automatically extended for 5 years, until 30 June 2025.  

You do not need to re-apply to AMSA, if your approval was in force on 30 June 2020, you can still operate under the exemption. The exemption will be automatically extended.

See the full list of exemptions extended and key changes made by clicking link below

 

Early Access to Superannuation

Individuals affected by the coronavirus can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. Select button below to be transfered to the ATO website for details on how to access your superannuation.

Instant Asset Write-Off

From 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020 under instant asset write-off eligible businesses can:

  • immediately write off the cost of each asset that cost less than $150,000 (up from $30,000)
  • claim a tax deduction for the business portion of the purchase cost in the year the asset is first used or installed ready for use.

Instant asset write-off can be used for both new and second-hand assets. Some exclusions and limits apply.

Free 3 month Intellectural Property extension

You can request a free streamlined extension on your patents, trade marks and designs for a period of up to 3 months. The requests for the streamlined extensions must be made in eServices

Free IP extension on Plant Breeders Rights (PBR)

You can request a free extension on Plant Breeders Rights. Also if you have any difficulty paying your renewal fee contact the PBR office as early as possible to determine possible options

Freeze on Heavy Vehicle Road User Charge

Australian truck owners and operators will save hundreds of dollars a year following the Federal Government’s decision to freeze the Heavy Vehicle Road User Charge at current levels. 

“The Road User Charge, which is set to recover the heavy vehicle share of road maintenance and improvements, will stay at 25.8 cents per litre for diesel in 2020-21 instead of increasing by the scheduled 2.5 per cent,” Mr McCormack said.

New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) able to access Coronavirus supplement

NEIS supports people to create their own job by starting a small business. NEIS participants can now choose to access the Coronavirus Supplement if they are in receipt of an eligible income support payment. This option will be available to both existing and new NEIS participants.

Help with your Energy Bills

If your business is struggling to pay energy bills because of the impacts of coronavirus, there are other options available including waiving daily supply charges to retailers, payment plans and not disconnecting customers who may be in financial stress.

Telecommunications hardship principles for COVID-19

Telecommunications providers have committed to 6 key principles to assists with financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic including providing all consumers and small business customers in financial hardship (including small businesses eligible for the JobKeeper Payment) who contact their service provider for assistance, a payment plan or hardship agreement.

Increased and accelerated income support from Centrelink

Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker criteria will provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their job including sole traders, the self-employed, casual workers plus contract workers who meet the income tests as a result of the economic downturn due to the oronavirus. Also includes a person required to care for someone who is affected by the coronavirus.

Asset testing for JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker and Parenting Payment will be waived for the period of the Coronavirus Supplement.

Coronavirus Australia app for iPhone and Android mobile phones

Download the new Federal Government App to get up to date information on support, subsidies and media statement on the coronavirus

Australian Government WhatsApp channel for COVID-19

Join the Australian Governments COVID-19 WhatsApp channel to learn the latest on Australi’s response to conronavirus (COVID-19). If you are already a WhatsApp user you can send a message to +61 400 253 787 through Whatsapp to join the channel. If you don’t have WhatsApp, download the app to join the channel .

National industry-specific work health and safety guidance and tools

There is now a nationally-consistent, industry-specific work health and safety guidance on COVID-19, accessible via a central hub provided by Sae Work Australia. Australian workplaces will be able to use this central hub of WHS guidance and tools to help manage health and safety risks posed by COVID-19

Safe Work Australian downloadable fact sheets on COVID-19

Safe Work Australia has downloadable fact sheets on how to keep workers safe and whot to do if a work has COVID-19

Mental Health resource for Sole Traders

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has released a free online mental health webinar for sole traders, amid alarming predictions of a dramatic rise in Australian suicide rates due to the economic and social impacts of coronavirus.

Beyond Blue ambassador and sole trader Garry Mills hosts the short webinar, during which he describes his own experiences with depression and anxiety and some of the strategies that worked for him in his darkest times.

“The webinar also directs viewers to our My Business Health web portal, which offers dedicated holistic support to employers and sole traders.

“The COVID-19 section of My Business Health walks small business owners and sole traders through the practical steps to keep their business afloat and also links with resources from Beyond Blue, which has taken a lead role in providing mental health assistance throughout this pandemic.”

“There’s no doubt this is a very difficult and uncertain time, but there is support for small businesses and sole traders and I would encourage them to access the free resources and services on offer.”

QLD Roadmap to easing restrictions – Stage 3

The QLD government has outlined the roadmap to easing QLD restrictions with the Stage 3 date changed to 12pm Friday 3rd July 2020.

From 3 July 2020, the following will be allowed for Businesses and economy:

  • Maximum number of customers for a business at any one time is determised by the 4 sqm rule
  • For smaller venues below 200 sqm, businesses can have one person per 2 sqm, up to 50 persons at a time
  • The following businesses and areas may re-open with a COVID Safe Plan:
    • Casions, gaming & gambling venues
    • non-therapeutic massage
    • sauna & bathhouses
    • nightclubs
    • food courts
  • Office-based workers can return to their place of work
  • Up to 25,000 spectators or 50% of capacity (whichever is the lesser) at QLD Major Sports Facilities, with a COVID Safe Plan
  • Concert venues, theatres and auditoriums can open and have up to 50% capacity or one person per 4 sqm (whichever is the greater), witha COVID Safe Plan
  • More events allowed:
    • few than 500 people – no approval needed when following a COVID Safe Event Checklist
    • 500 to 10,000 people – need a COVID Safe Event Plan approved by local public health units.
    • Over 10,000 people – need a COVID Safe Event Plan approved by QLD Chief Health Offier.
  • COVID Safe Industry Plans continue to apply with revisions to reflect changes in Stage 3. oVID Safe Checklists continue to apply.

Select below link to see the full Roadmap to easing restrictions, including Stage 2 easing for Family, friends and community.

QLD Border Update – changes from 12pm 10 July 2020

From 10 July 2020, any person from NSW, WA, SA, TAS, theACT and the NT may enter QLD subject to completing and signing a border declaration.

If any person entering QLD from whaever place has spent time in any local government area in VIC during the past 14 days, they will be subject to mandatory hotel quarantine.

For details on Offences and quaranteine measure, select button below

QLD Border Declaration Pass

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, entry to Queensland and travel to remote communities is temporarily restricted by the Chief Health Officer under the Border Restrictions Direction.

You are only allowed to enter Queensland if you are an exempt person or have been granted an exemption from Queensland’s Chief Health Officer AND you have a Queensland Border Declaration Pass.

Select link for details

TAFE Covid Safe FREE micro credentials

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TAFE Queensland, in conjunction with the Queensland Government, is offering a range of education and training to support individuals, and small, medium and large businesses.

COVID Safe for Dining In & COVID Safe for Beauty therapy, nail salons, tanning, tattoo parlours and spas.

Click on link for details and to apply

Free Online Training for Small Business

If your business has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you can access a free online library of course tailored to small business.

Course areas include:

  • Foundation business skills
  • Leading a successful business
  • Connecting businesses and customers
  • Adaption and digital skills.

The online training is being provided through GO1 and its online learning platform, in partnership with the Queensland Government, to support you and your employees recover from COVID-19 and enable future growth.

Access is free to Queensland small businesses. Registration is required, including details to verify your business.

Housing Construction Works for Tradies

Works for Tradies provides new opportunities for small to medium-sized, QBCC licenced local builders to work with us to accelerate the delivery of social housing. It will deliver a pipeline of construction work for QBCC licensed builders, creating job opportunities for electricians, plumbers, carpenters, bricklayers, concreters and landscapers and support local supplier networks across the state.

Suitably qualified builders are encouraged to sign up now for updates on how they can work with us to deliver new homes across the state.

Hardship payment for casual workers & eligible employees with coronavirus (COVID-19)

This hardship payment from the Queensland Government is available for eligible casual employees of businesses trading in Queensland, as well as eligible employees who have exhausted their sick leave entitlements, and who contract coronavirus (COVID-19) outside of their workplace.

From 5 June 2020, a payment of $1,500 is available to eligible Queensland workers who may face financial hardship through enforced quarantine if they contract coronavirus (COVID-19) outside of their workplace.

Select link for Eligibility criteria

Payroll Tax exemption on JobKeeper payments

The  is not liable for Queensland payroll tax.

Example

Paula receives JobKeeper payments of $1,500 per fortnight for each of her employees Adam and Michelle.

  • Adam’s wages are $1,500 per fortnight, which are fully subsidised by the JobKeeper payment. Paula does not include this $1,500 payment as wages for payroll tax purposes.
  • Michelle’s wages are $2,000 per fortnight, which includes the $1,500 JobKeeper payment and $500 in ordinary wages. Paula must include the $500 of wages for payroll tax purposes, but not the $1,500 JobKeeper payment.

Arts and Cultural Recovery Package

The Queensland Government announced (16 June 2020) a new $22.5 million two-year Arts and Cultural Recovery Package for Queensland’s arts and cultural sector as part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Strategy: Stage Two.

The Arts and Cultural Recovery Package includes a range of measures to strengthen the sector’s foundations for the future, drive new creative work, employ artists and arts workers, retain our skilled and talented creatives, and importantly, ensure the activation of our venues.

A suite of funding programs, Expressions of Interest, and procurement processes will be rolled out in stages from July 2020.

The package includes: $11.3m to assist in offsetting revenue losses and stabilise businesses in our live music and performing arts organisations and venues; $4.2m to fund a pipeline of performing arts and live music to support our cultural and tourism recovery; $4.15m to support audience and market access; $2.9m to support partnerships with local councils, venues, artists, festivals and organisations to continue employment and provide unique experiences across Queensland

The QLD Small Business Commissioner role established to help Small Business with leases during COVID-19

The Queensland Small Business Commissioner is a statutory office holder, temporarily established until 31 December 2020 under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020.

The Office of the Queensland Small Business Commissioner (OQSBC) provides information and advocacy support to small businesses, and informal resolution and mediation of coronavirus (COVID-19) affected small business leases.

What the OQSBC does

The key functions of the OQSBC include:

  • providing information and advisory services to small businesses in Queensland about matters relevant to them
  • assisting small businesses with informal resolution of COVID-19 small business leasing disputes. This includes providing initial information and advisory services, and pre-mediation services to connect tenants and landlords to try to identify solutions prior to progressing to mediation
  • administering a small business lease dispute mediation process (where information or pre-mediation support has not resolved the dispute), before progressing to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) or the courts for dispute resolution.

Agriculture Coordination Officers support Producers, Agriculture Industry & Local Government

Queensland agriculture coordination officers support producers, the agriculture industry and local governments to manage coronavirus (COVID-19).

These officers are extension, research, biosecurity, and regional economic development staff from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

There are approximately 100 agriculture coordination officers across the state.

How they can help

Agriculture coordination officers give producers and industry fast access to relevant information, removing the need to navigate many different websites, sometimes with limited or no connectivity.

To contact an agriculture coordination officer, email info@daf.qld.gov.au or phone our customer service centre on 13 25 23.

Employing workers in agribusiness and commercial fisheries during COVID-19

The Queensland Government has introduced measures to help agribusiness and commercial fisheries access seasonal workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This ensures seasonal work can continue so Queensland’s food supplies are secure while meeting coronavirus (COVID-19) public health directions.

Queensland agribusiness and commercial fisheries rely on workers throughout the year to plant, harvest and carry out maintenance. Select link for more details

Residential Tenancies Practice Guide to navigate tenancies

The Tenancy practice guide for the temporary requirements and protections for tenancies impacted by COVID-19 is now available. It will help property owners and their tenants int heir discussions to negotiate a way through 2020

Land Tax Relief

You may be eligible for one or more of the following land tax relief measures:

  • a 3-month deferral of land tax liabilities for the 2020-21 assessment year
  • land tax rebate reducing land tax liabilities by 25% for eligible properties for the 2019-20 assessment year
  • waiver of the 2% land tax foreign surcharge for foreign entities for the 2019-20 assessment year.

Deferral

Your land tax liability will be deferred for 3 months.

For example, if last year’s assessment notice was dated 1 November 2019 and you are liable for land tax again this year, we will not issue your 2020–21 notice before 1 February 2021.

You do not need to apply for the deferral.

Land tax rebate

You can apply for the land tax rebate up to 31 October 2020.

The rebate:

  • does not apply to owner-occupied land
  • is only available if you owned an eligible property at 30 June 2019 and were liable for land tax in relation to the property
  • does not need to be repaid if the eligibility conditions are met.

Select link for eligibility requirements…

Worker Transition Scheme and rapid response

The Worker Transition Scheme and rapid response provides a suite of information and support services to workers who may find themselves without work as a result of business closure or redundancy programs.
Assistance under the scheme includes: engaging with administrators to offer worker transition scheme assistance, coordinating assistance from government departments; monitoring progress on payment of all entitlements; where possible, assisting retrenched workers on where they might find new employment and advising of government training schemes if new skills are required for their next job; and assisting businesses affected by changes in the supply chain.

For further assistance, contact EconomicRecovery@dsdmip.qld.gov.au

Food license fees refund

$1 million refund on food licensing fees for businesses. This will be an automatic refund – no application required.

COVID-19 Community Organisation Hardship and Assistance Grant

Financial assistance for community organisations experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19. Eligible applications are community organisations that: are based in the Moreton Bay Region and/or can demonstrate that the proposed project will substantially benefit residents of the Moreton Bay Region; and have $20 million public liability insurance, if required by Council. Maximum funding $10,000.

To make an application, contact Council’s Grants Team on (07) 3205 0555 or email grants@moretonbay.qld.gov.au.

Accelerated asset maintenance works

$2 million in accelerated asset maintenance works to help keep businesses and local people employed on local projects. Businesses that haven’t yet done so are urged to register with Council’s supplier marketplaces through the supplier portal. Council will give preference to projects that use local procurement and local suppliers.

Rates Rebate

​As part of a $15 million stimulus package for the region, Council has introduced a $200 rates rebate to assist owners of residential owner-occupied properties who are experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you meet the criteria, a rebate of $100 will be applied to your rates account for the current quarter regardless of when you apply during the quarter. A second rebate of $100 will then automatically be applied to the rate notice issued in July 2020.

Only one rebate per quarter will be provided to each eligible property, regardless of the number of owners that may be eligible.

Payment Plan

If you are experiencing financial hardship you can enter a payment plan with Council, to pay off your rates. Payment plans are available to everyone including those who are receiving a rebate.

As part of a range of assistance measures to support the community through the COVID-19 pandemic, Council has resolved on 13 May 2020 that interest will not be charged on overdue rates and charges for the period 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020.

Select link to apply for rates rebate or enter a payment plan

Unity Water Customer Relief Package

Available to all businesses and residential customers facing difficulties. Extra 30 days to pay and no interest on overdue bills for the next 6 months, starting from 2 April 2020.

CCIQ Free Workplace Policies & Templates

Free policies and templates, including working from home and business continuity, to help your business be practically prepared for the impacts of COVID-19. Normally valued at $42, you will receive the entire pack for free. The pack includes: working from home overview; home workplace inspection; working from home agreement; health and safety workplace policy; unpaid leave policy; workplace hygiene policy; and business continuity template.

COVID-19 Business Packages/Support

Select the TABS to view what business packages/support is available at each level of Government and from the Private Section (Other).
You can also use the QLD Government Business Finder Tool (below) to view what is available from the Federal and State Government for your type of business.

Please note: details on all government assistance packages is changing rapidly. We are updating this page as new information comes to hand. We are also sending an email every Monday with the latest updates. If you wish to receive these email updates please subscribe below.

Business Assistance Finder Tool

Select your Business size (from zero to 200+), select your industry and this tool will show you what QLD and Australian Government packages/support is available for your business.