What does the COVID-19 stimulus mean for you?

Tuesday, 24 March, 2020

What does the COVID-19 stimulus mean for you?

Various stimulus packages have been implemented by state, territory and federal governments around the country, designed to limit the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis.

Master Electricians Australia said it is committed to keeping members up to date with details of support packages for businesses (including how to access them) and communities as they come to hand.

The federal government’s second ($66bn) package includes support for companies to stay in business and keep people employed. It also provides assistance for households, casual workers, sole traders, retirees and those on income support.

To date, $189 billion has been made available by all levels of government to support Australians and businesses through this period.

For more information about stimulus packages as they apply to each state and territory, see below.

Australia Capital Territory

  • $20 million in funding to fast-track infrastructure projects and maintenance on government-owned community, school and other buildings.
  • Increased subsidies for apprenticeships and traineeships to access nationally recognised training. Subsidies will be provided directly to RTOs with no application required.
  • $750 rebate for small business owners with electricity usage below 100 megawatts per year. Rebates will be automatically applied to the next electricity bill in June or July 2020.
  • ACT businesses with Australia-wide wages of up to $10 million can defer their 2020–21 payroll tax, interest-free until 1 July 2022. Business will need to complete an online application at revenue.act.gov.au to confirm eligibility.
  • Commercial property owners with an average unimproved value below $2 million are eligible for a rebate on their commercial rates fixed charge.
  • 12-month waiver of the food business registration for licensed venues and liquor licensing fees from 1 April 2020. Outdoor dining fees for 2020–2021 will be waived.
  • $150 rebate on residential rate bills in 2020–21.
  • Freeze on levy for fire and emergency services, vehicle registration, parking and public transport.
  • $200 additional rebate for households receiving the Utilities Concession through their electricity bill. This will be automatically applied.
  • $250 one-off bank payment to be made from Housing ACT to all social housing households by June. Eligible households will be contacted directly.

New South Wales

  • $700 million in additional funding for NSW Health.
  • $450 million to waive payroll tax for businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million for the rest of the financial year.
  • $56 million to bring forward payroll tax cuts, raising the threshold limit to $1 million next financial year.
  • $80 million to waive fees and charges for small businesses including tradies, bars and cafes.
  • $250 million to employ additional cleaners for public infrastructure and buildings.
  • Over $250 million for maintenance on public assets.
  • $500 million to bring forward capital works and maintenance.

Northern Territory

  • $30 million home improvement scheme. Home owners can access a $4000 voucher if they contribute $1000 of their own money or a $6000 voucher if they contribute $2000 of their own.
  • Registrations for businesses to provide their services will open 30 March and home owner applications open 6 April.
  • $20 million business improvement scheme. Territory businesses will have access to a $10,000 grant to purchase goods and services to make permanent physical improvements to a business (land and/or building) that help improve its efficiency and customer experience. An additional grant of $10,000 is available if the business matches the investment.
  • $5 million immediate works grants package. Not-for-profit and community organisations can access grants of up to $100,000 for renovations and upgrades. The first $50,000 will be paid as a grant, and the government will match costs on a dollar-for-dollar basis for any work exceeding $50,000 up to a cap of $100,000 in total.
  • Registrations for businesses to provide their services will open 30 March and grant applications open 20 April.
  • $5 million structural adjustment package. To help public venues adjust to the new requirement of capping indoor meetings at 100 people, funding will be made available to install partitioning.
  • All government fees and charges — including electricity, water and car registration will be frozen (no increase due to indexation) until 1 July 2021.
  • Eligible businesses that hire a Territorian in the next 12 months will receive a payroll tax concession and won’t be liable for payroll tax on those wages for two years.


  • $500 million funding for business loans of up to $250,000 with an initial 12-month interest-free period for businesses to retain staff. Details about accessing the loans will be made available on the QRIDA page.
  • $25.25 million assistance package and payroll tax deferrals of up to $20,500 per month until July 2020. Businesses with an annual wage bill of up to $6.5 million will be able to self-assess whether they have been impacted by COVID-19.
  • Providing further support to Brisbane-based Queenslanders, the Brisbane City Council announced on 20 March the waiving of small business charges, rents, levies and fees during this period.

South Australia

  • $350 million funding for construction with the bulk of the spend in the next 12 months. It will focus on ‘shovel ready’ construction projects including roads, hospital improvements, electrical upgrades and fire safety upgrades.
  • $22 million in ‘eco-tourism’ initiatives.
  • $15 million boost to regional health projects.
  • $5 million in funding for regional aged-care facilities.


  • $50 million will be allocated to fast-track maintenance on public buildings over the next 12 months to provide an injection into local trades and communities around the state.
  • $50 million in interest-free loans over three years will be made available to encourage local government to upgrade, renovate and to do necessary maintenance to improve tourism and other assets.
  • $20 million in interest-free loans to small businesses in the hospitality, tourism, seafood production and exports sectors.
  • Payroll tax liabilities will be waived for hospitality, tourism and seafood industry businesses for the remainder of the financial year.
  • 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.
  • The targeted Small Business Grants Program will provide $5000 grants for businesses that hire an apprentice or trainee in the tourism, hospitality, building and construction, and manufacturing industries.
  • $80,000 will be provided to the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to provide HR and IR assistance associated with COVID-19 to businesses.


  • $550 million package for payroll tax refunds. Small and medium-sized businesses with a payroll of less than $3 million will receive full payroll tax refunds for the 2019–20 financial year.
  • Small and medium-sized businesses will also be able to defer any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020–21 financial year until 1 January 2021.
  • $500 million to establish a Business Support Fund. This will support hospitality, tourism, accommodation, entertainment, retail and arts.
  • $500 million to establish a Working for Victoria Fund to assist those who have lost their jobs to find other opportunities.
  • Commercial tenants in government buildings will be able to apply for rent relief.
  • 2020 land tax payments will be deferred for eligible businesses.
  • Outstanding supplier invoices with be paid within five days by the government.

Western Australia

  • $402 million allocated to freeze household fees and charges including electricity, water, motor vehicle charges, emergency services levy and public transport fares until at least 1 July 2021.
  • Energy Assistance Payment (EAP) doubled to $600 to support vulnerable Western Australians, including pensioners.
  • $17,500 in one-off grants to small businesses that pay payroll tax.
  • $1 million payroll tax threshold brought forward by six months to 1 July 2020.
  • Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can defer payroll tax payments until 21 July 2020.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Worapong Saleewong

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