CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION AND RESOURCES FOR AUSTRALIA’S TOURISM INDUSTRY
A range of Federal Government relief assistance, support and resources is available to help tourism businesses deal with the financial impacts of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Tourism Australia will continue to update this page as more information becomes available.
Australian Government Support Available
The Australian Government’s Economic Response is aimed at supporting households and businesses and addressing the significant economic consequences of coronavirus. So far, this totals $189 billion and includes:
- $17.6 billion from the Government’s first economic stimulus package
- $90 billion from the Reserve Bank of Australia
- $15 billion to deliver easier access to finance
- $66.1 billion from the Government’s second economic support package.
Specific information on eligibility, criteria and timings can be found on business.gov.au. The Australian Government has also established a dedicated hotline (13 28 46) to provide support to small and medium businesses impacted by coronavirus. You can call the Contact Centre seven-days-a-week from 7am to 11pm AEST.
Support for the tourism industry - $1 billion fund
The Australian Government’s Economic Response includes a dedicated $1 billion fund to support sectors, regions and communities disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the coronavirus, including those heavily reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education. Support from this fund specifically for tourism will include the waiver of fees and charges for tourism businesses that operate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Commonwealth National Parks. Find out more here.
Financial support for businesses – the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
The following measures aimed at supporting businesses impacted by coronavirus will be administered by the ATO:
- Increasing the instant asset write-off - increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000; and expanding access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million). Find out more here.
- Backing business investment - introducing a time limited 15-month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short-term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Find out more here.
- Boosting Cash Flow for Employers - providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not-for-profits (including charities) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000. The payments will provide temporary cash flow support during the economic downturn associated with coronavirus. Payments will be tax free. Find out more here.
- Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses – providing a temporary increase to the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company; and giving companies more time to respond to these demands. This includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent. Find out more here.
Businesses impacted by coronavirus can phone the ATO Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 for help or visit their website for more information.
Support for apprentices and trainees
Businesses employing an apprentice or trainee may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of wages paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. You can register for the subsidy from early April 2020.
Supporting the flow of credit
The Government has announced a series of measures to support the flow of credit. These include, but are not limited to:
- Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, providing a guarantee of 50 per cent to small and medium enterprise lenders towards new, unsecured loans to be used for working capital.
- Exemption from responsible lending obligations for lenders providing credit to existing small business customers.
- A package of measures announced by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) aimed at putting downward pressure on borrowing costs for households and businesses.
Support for Australian airlines and airports
Support for individuals and households
The Government has announced a series of measures to support individuals and households. These include, but are not limited to:
- Income support for individuals - over the next six months, temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This will be administered by Services Australia. Find out more here.
- Payments to support households - providing two separate $750 payments to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. The first payment will be made from 31 March 2020 and the second payment will be made from 13 July 2020. These payments will be administered by Services Australia or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Find out more here.
- Temporary early release of superannuation - allowing individuals affected by the coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. This will be administered by the ATO. Find out more here.
- Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates - temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products by 50 per cent for 2019-20 and 2020-21. This will be administered by the ATO. Find out more here.
Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit
The Australian Government has established a dedicated Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit in Treasury to engage with peak business groups on systemic issues relating to coronavirus to ensure these are being addressed by Government. The unit will be a source of information for business groups on the Australian Government’s response to coronavirus and the actions that agencies are taking to support business at this time. You can email the Business Liaison Unit and click here for more information. The Business Liaison Unit is already liaising with peak business groups and associations, and in the first instance you may wish to connect with your relevant industry association.
TOURISM AUSTRALIA RESOURCES – TRAVEL AND SAFETY
Tourism Australia’s Coronavirus Information page on Australia.com provides information and updates for international and domestic travellers, including responses to Frequently Asked Questions which are updated regularly.
- Australian Department of Health
- Advice for Travellers
- Advice for travel, transport and hotel industries
- Government coronavirus public health campaign materials
- Coronavirus National Health Plan