State govts' billion-dollar boosts

By Gerv Tacadena | 20 Mar 2020

The state governments of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory pledged stimulus packages to support households and small businesses amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

These economic packages are on top of the $17.6bn support the federal government announced last week.

New South Wales’ $2.3bn health boost and economic plan

NSW's $2.3bn plan is composed of two key components: $700m extra health funding and $1.6bn in tax cuts to support jobs.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state efforts complement the recent moves by the Reserve Bank of Australia and the federal government in providing more resources to help slow the spread of the virus.

"This package will provide more resources to help slow the spread of this virus and boost treatment for those people in our community who need it most," she said.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the packages will help businesses struggling with the outbreak of COVID-19.

"We are supporting businesses by lowering costs through tax cuts and fee reductions, and working to boost jobs by funding ready-to-go capital work and maintenance projects as a priority," Perrottet said.

Find out more about NSW’s economic plan by clicking here.

Queensland's recovery package

In response to the adverse impacts of the coronavirus outbreak to the Queensland's economy, the state government announced the Immediate Industry Recovery Package valued at $27.25m.

The plan includes business and industry support, counselling to businesses and students, and promotion of Queensland tourism.

Under its support for businesses, the state government will be offering a $500m loan facility. This will comprise low-interest loans of up to $250,000, with an initial 12-month interest-free period.

Payroll tax support will also be provided by the state, as well as cost relief for tourism operators and hospitality providers.

More information about Queensland’s recovery package can be found here.

South Australia's $350m economic boost

For its part, the SA government launched a $350m economic support plan in response to the coronavirus outbreak and the ongoing impact of the bushfires.

SA Premier Steven Marshall said this follows the $22m investment in nature-based tourism infrastructure to boost employment and the long-term visitor economy in hard-hit regions.

"In this economic stimulus package, we are immediately investing $350m on a range of measures — from major road and hospital upgrades to significant tourism infrastructure and increased funding for the state's Economic and Business Growth Fund to support industry sectors," he said.

The state said the projects that will be funded under this economic package should meet certain criteria. Other than being able to commence works within a short period of time, the projects must also be labour-intensive and require significant local purchasing of materials, services, and supplies.

Click here to see South Australia’s statement about their economic package.

Western Australia's payment freeze

The state government of WA unveiled a household-centric economic package worth $607m.

The state government will allocate $402m to freeze household fees and charges until at least July 2021. This will include payments for electricity, water, motor vehicle charges, emergency services levy and public transport fares.

The stimulus package also includes $114m in measures to support small and medium businesses. Payroll tax-paying businesses with a payroll between $1m and $4m will receive a one-off grant of $17,500 to assist them in managing the impacts of COVID-19.

Roughly 7,400 businesses are expected to benefit from the grant.

Check out Western Australia’s COVID-19 response here.

Tasmania's targeted assistance

As part of the state government of Tasmania's $420m response to the coronavirus outbreak, small businesses in the hospitality, tourism, seafood production, and export sectors will be offered interest-free business loans. The loans will be interest-free for three years.

$50m worth of interest-free loans will also be made available to encourage local government to upgrade, renovate, and do the necessary maintenance to improve tourism.

For more information, click this link.

Northern Territory's support for home renovations

The Northern Territory's $60m boost is composed of two major portions involving home improvements and businesses.

A report from ABC News said the $30m Home Improvement Scheme will grant homeowners with $6,000 for renovations, provided that they contribute $2,000 of their own money. A $4,000 grant is also available for those who spend $1,000 for home improvements.

The state government said this grant will help local traders and other small business owners.

Aside from the renovation grant, the state government also announced a similar payment freeze until July 2021.

Under the Business Improvement Scheme, the state government will provide $10,000 to eligible businesses looking to make some upgrades.

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