Stimulus and Support

Last update: 27 Mar 2020 4:04pm

The health, safety and wellbeing of Tasmanians is our number one priority as we face the challenge of coronavirus. Our social and economic support package will help Tasmanian businesses and jobs as we deal with the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporting Businesses and Jobs

Government fees and charges

For businesses and jobs the Government will freeze, waive or cap fees and charges for small businesses, including:

  • Water and electricity bills will be waived for the first quarterly bill received after 1 April this year for small business customers on Tariff 22, 94, 82 or 75, including those small businesses on market contracts that could access those tariffs.
  • Electricity prices will be capped, and water prices will be frozen next financial year.
  • The Government will freeze all fees and charges subject to the Government Fee Units Act 1997.

The Government will also waive the roads component of motor tax and vehicle registration where that business has been significantly impacted by measures taken to manage COVID-19.

The Government will also waive land tax for 2020- 21 for commercial property owners financially impacted by COVID-19, where the land tax is paid by the business owner.

Payroll tax relief

The Government will extend the previously announced Payroll tax waivers for the hospitality, tourism and seafood sectors and for Tasmanian businesses with payrolls less than $5 million which have been impacted by coronavirus to ensure that these businesses will pay no payroll taxes for the entire 2019-20 year. This measure will be delivered through a combination of payroll tax refunds and waivers.

Additional funding to help our workforce

The Government will boost funding for the Rapid Response Skills Initiative with an additional $6.3 million. Through this program, up to $3,000 will be available for individuals to gain skills or licences to help them into a new role.

Businesses that have immediate job needs and opportunities available, will be able to access a job-ready pool, including to match people to our immediate priority skills needs, such as in health and food retail industries.

Local Government Loan Scheme

The Government has extended the Local Government Loan Scheme from $50 million to $150 million to encourage local councils to upgrade local infrastructure and employ Tasmanians in the process.

Additional support for small businesses

For small businesses, the Government will also:

  • Increase the Small Business Interest Free Loan Scheme from $20 million to $50 million, which is available for businesses with turnovers of less than $10 million;
  • Provide a new $40 million to the Small Business Grants Program with $20 million set aside for emergency grant support and $20 million for larger grants payments;
  • Provide a Digital Ready for Business Program will be boosted with $150,000 to assist businesses who want to take their business online;
  • Provide business continuity advice with $750,000 in funding made available for businesses to seek cashflow and continuity advice. This includes a $50,000 grant to the Small Business Council of Tasmania;
  • A further $200,000 will be provided to the THA to provide business continuity and cashflow advice, increasing the funding for this initiative up to $250,000;
  • A further $200,000 will be provided to Rural Business Tasmania for the extension of its Rural Financial Counselling service; and
  • Provide $100,000 to support our local Chamber of Commerce’s as they themselves assist businesses manage COVID-19.

Supporting Industries

Tourism and hospitality support

A further $200,000 will be provided to the THA to provide business continuity and cashflow advice, increasing the funding for this initiative up to $250,000.

Seafood and fishery support

The Government will provide an additional $1.8 million for fisheries fees and licence relief for 12 months. This will include:

  • $604,000 for fee relief for a range of wild fisheries licence fees, including commercial dive, scallops and fishing vessels;
  • $427,000 for licence and rental fees relief for shellfish farming; and
  • $770,000 for ShellMAP Program Fee Relief.

This initiative is in addition to the 12 month waiver for annual fees for Rock Lobster, Giant Crab, wild capture Fin Fisheries and Abalone Divers which has a full cost of $3.7 million and brings total Government support to the fishing industry to $5.5 million.

Creative and cultural industries

The Government will provide $1.5 million to support the Creative and Cultural Industries. The programs to be funded include:

  • $500,000 for an Arts and Screen Digital Production Fund. This Fund will enable Arts and Screen Tasmania to commission excerpts of digital versions of cancelled or postponed performing arts events and supporting recording projects of music ensembles;
  • $250,000 one-off funding for script and other development activities which are able to continue under the current restrictions;
  • $250,000 to support contemporary musicians to record music and video for digital distribution and business relaunch; and
  • $500,000 to support additional Arts organisations not currently funded.

The Government will also extend arts organisation contracts due to expire by one year, supporting 19 organisations to manage through this period of disruption, manage cashflow and continue to employ their staff wherever feasible.

Critical air freight for industry and our islands

The Government will provide $2.6 million towards air freight services for time sensitive freight, including seafood, as well as providing access to our Bass Strait Islands.

Taxi license fees

The Government will waive annual taxi licence fees for the calendar year 2020 at a cost of $240,000.

Resources

Last update: 27 Mar 2020 4:04pm

The health, safety and wellbeing of Tasmanians is our number one priority as we face the challenge of coronavirus. Our second stimulus package will help Tasmanian households and individuals as we deal with the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporting Households and Individuals

Fees and charges relief

For households and individuals the Government will:

  • Freeze the Community Fire Levy, which is part of rates collections, from the next financial year.
  • Waive or refund school levies for this year at a cost of $13 million this calendar year. For those who have already paid their schools levies, the Government will arrange for these to be refunded.
  • Cap electricity prices and freeze water bills for next financial year, at an estimated combined cost of $20 million. This is in addition to hardship funds and arrangements currently in place.

The Government welcomes news that:

  • Aurora Energy has established a $5 million fund to assist customers with bill relief, waiving fees or charges, freezing debt, payment plans, in addition to a range of other support measures
  • Aurora Energy has also advised it will not be disconnecting any residential or small business customers, without their agreement during this crisis.

Additional money for health

The Government has increased its primary health care fund from $2 million to $5 million to ensure that the sector can continue to deliver primary healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will assist GPs, pharmacists and dentists to obtain the necessary supplies and take the necessary measures to protect themselves and our wider community in coming months.

The Government has also made an additional provision of $150 million for health to manage COVID-19.

Rent relief for social housing

The Government will not increase rent for social housing tenants, and will not count Federal and State Government emergency payments as income for the purposes of calculating rent contributions.

This will leave more money in the hands of low income households who need it in these difficult times, and in local economies at a cost of around $6.7 million.

Additional housing for Tasmanians

The Government will also increase funding to the Private Rental Incentive Scheme to increase the pool of available houses by up to 200 this year, at a cost of $2 million for 75 additional homes. This will assist in meeting the needs of those on the housing register.

Supporting workers

The Government will do its part to help our workforce by providing casual workers in the state sector with two weeks special leave if they are required to self-isolate.

No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)

The Government will provide an extra $1 million to increase the provisions of NILS to support low-income families obtain affordable finance for goods and services.

Resources

Last update: 28 Mar 2020 9:19am

The health, safety and wellbeing of Tasmanians is our number one priority as we face the challenge of coronavirus. Our social and economic support package will help vulnerable Tasmanians and our community as we deal with the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporting Vulnerable Tasmanians and our Community

Additional funding for community organisations

The Government will boost its COVID-19 funding for community organisations to $5 million. This funding will enable NGOs to support vulnerable people, including:

  • an additional $1 million for emergency accommodation;
  • $100,000 to Foodbank to increase delivery and supplies;
  • $250,000 to support Meals on Wheels to assist in freezing meals for the elderly and vulnerable;
  • $156,000 for Loaves and Fishes to assist them to increase their production of ready-to-eat nutritious meals for delivery frequency across the state;
  • $100,000 to TasCOSS to ensure a joined-up and connected community sector response;
  • $250,000 in an Essential Technology Fund to be managed by TasCOSS to enable community sector organisations to access technology to continue to deliver vital support;
  • $130,000 for Volunteer Tasmania to assist in mobilising volunteers;
  • $144,000 for Hamlet in partnership with City Mission to provide food (400 meals per week for 24 weeks) for persons in hardship coming through the doors of the City Mission;
  • $65,000 to YNOT (the Youth Network of Tasmania) to develop an effective communication and marketing campaign for young Tasmanians in response to COVID-19;
  • $100,000 to the Waterbridge Food Co-operative to extend their delivery of food boxes;
  • $40,000 to Scrubby Hill Farm to ensure supplies at the Waterbridge Food Co-operative and the surrounding Huon Valley community;
  • $65,000 to COTA (Council of the Ageing) to develop an effective communication plan for older Tasmanians;
  • $65,000 to Tasmanian Men’s Sheds to help people stay connected;
  • $260,000 for Community Transport Services Tasmania to continue to maintain essential transport and deliveries for our most vulnerable;
  • $500,000 to commercial trading RSL sub branches and ex-serving organisations;
  • $700,000 for Neighbourhood Houses ($20,000 for each of the 35 Houses in the State) to support their local communities; and
  • $15,000 to National Disability Services to support those with disability face the additional challenges of COVID-19. This complements the support provided by the NDIS.

Mental health support

The Government is investing $4 million into mental health support services to plan and respond to COVID-19. This includes:

  • $875,000 to establish a dedicated 1800 phone number to allow the Tasmanian community to call in and receive psychosocial support, and provide a reach out service for older Tasmanians and industries significantly impacted;
  • $360,000 for increased capacity to provide mental health advice, support and referral for vulnerable Tasmanians living in rural areas;
  • $450,000 supporting providers to use technology to keep vulnerable Tasmanian’s connected;
  • $120,000 for targeted support for Tasmania’s migrant community regarding the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • $600,000 for increased capacity to provide mental health support for Tasmanian’s living in supported accommodation; and
  • $250,000 to adapt Tasmania’s pharmacotherapy program to the challenges of COVID-19.

Addressing family violence

The Government will provide an additional $2.7 million to address family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific measures include rapid rehousing, improved and increased services, and one- off packages to support those impacted.

Supporting our vulnerable children

The Government will provide an additional $2.5 million to enhance child safety and wellbeing, including:

  • a $260,000 ICT Fund to ensure children and young people in care have internet access and mobile technology for communication and home learning;
  • $200,000 to establish an informal kinship carer liaison and support function, providing grandparents and other informal kinship carers with access to necessary advice and support when they require it;
  • $50,000 to CREATE that will allow enhanced engagement and advocacy for children and young people in foster care, kinship care and residential care;
  • $53,000 to extend the Carer Support Hotline hours to 9am to 8pm weekdays and at other times over the weekend and public holidays;
  • $260,000 to provide a one-off immediate $200 payment to foster and kinship carers for each child or young person in their care, so families can purchase essential cleaning or hygiene products;
  • $480,000 to provide financial support to CatholicCare’s Therapeutic Residential Care Service to keep one additional house open for a six-month period;
  • $70,000 for the Flexible Active Families Fund to support children and families receiving family preservation or family restoration support through Child Safety Services or Intensive Family Engagement Services; and
  • $1.2 million for an enhanced After Hours Response Service to deliver additional after hours support to children and families at risk.

No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)

The Government will provide an extra $1 million to increase the provision of no interest loans to support low-income families obtain affordable finance for goods and services.

Supporting our sporting clubs

The Government will provide $2 million for a grants program to support the ongoing viability and operation of sporting clubs and associations impacted by COVID-19 closures.

Resources