Economic Response to the Coronavirus

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Overview of the Economic and Fiscal Update

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is providing timely economic support with $289 billion in fiscal and balance sheet measures, equivalent to around 14.6 per cent of GDP. The Government is supporting economic recovery by extending and further targeting temporary economic measures to support sectors, regions and communities that continue to face challenges.

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HomeBuilder

HomeBuilder supports the residential construction industry through a payment of $25,000 for each eligible owner-occupier to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home.

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Supporting Apprentices and Trainees

The Government is supporting small and medium-sized businesses to retain their apprentices and trainees. Where a small or medium-sized business is unable to retain an apprentice, a re‑engagement subsidy is available to a new employer of any size.

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Access to essential health services

The Government has provided $619.1 million to support bulk billing and has expanded Medicare subsidised telehealth services and provided $54.8 million for additional support to enable GPs to continue to provide essential face to face medical services.

Arts and entertainment support

The Government has committed $250 million to support production and employment in the arts and entertainment sectors. The Government will also provide $400 million over seven years to attract overseas film and television production to Australia through the Location Incentive.

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National Bushfire Recovery Fund

Families, farmers, business owners and communities affected by the devastating 2019-20 bushfires are receiving support through the $2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund (NBRF), in addition to funding provided through existing natural disaster support arrangements.

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Early access to superannuation

Eligible individuals have a second opportunity to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation early and tax-free until 31 December 2020.

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JobTrainer

The Government’s $2 billion JobTrainer Skills Package establishes a $1 billion JobTrainer Fund and extends the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy. The JobTrainer Fund, which will be jointly established with states and territories, will ensure job seekers are able to reskill and upskill and get back to work.

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Instant asset write-off

Around 3.5 million eligible businesses can access the increased $150,000 instant asset write-off until 31 December 2020.

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Mental health and wellbeing of Australians

The Government has provided $122.1 million to support the mental health and wellbeing of Australians during the coronavirus pandemic.

JobKeeper Payment

If your business has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, find out how the JobKeeper Payment extension to 28 March 2021 may provide continued support.

COVID-19 health response

The Government is providing $3.2 billion for the urgent purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other essential supplies. Funding was also provided for dedicated respiratory clinics, medical research and public awareness campaigns.

Australia’s COVID-19 testing capacity has been boosted, including Medicare‑funded pathology tests. The Government will also cover half of costs incurred by the states and territories in diagnosing and treating patients with COVID-19 via a $3.7 billion National Partnership Agreement.

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Child care

About one million families received free child care during the Government’s $1.9 billion support package for the early childhood education and care sector. Business Continuity Payments to childcare providers, equivalent to 50 per cent of the sector’s fee revenue, exceptional circumstance supplementary payments to some services and access to the JobKeeper payment was provided through the package.

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Coronavirus Supplement

Income support eligibility has been expanded because of the coronavirus – including JobSeeker Payment. In addition, the Coronavirus Supplement is available for eligible income support payments until 31 December 2020.

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Support for severely affected regions and communities

The Government is providing $1 billion direct support to regions, communities and industries severely affected by the coronavirus economic downturn allocated across a diverse range of industries including aviation, agriculture, fisheries, tourism and the arts.

Bushfire recovery for native wildlife and habitats

$149.7 million has been set aside to enable on-the-ground action to protect native species and build knowledge for better land management.