Fraser Coast COVID-19 Response Resources

Last Updated 02/06/2020


As we continue to navigate the global impacts of COVID-19, Fraser Coast Tourism & Events would like to reiterate our commitment to playing a constructive role in supporting our region both now and in the long-term once we are over the other side of this difficult situation. Our thoughts are with our entire industry during this trying time, and we are committed to softening the impact of COVID-19 to local businesses and tourism operations. We have compiled a list of up-to-date information, health alerts, government announcements, support and resources being made and the preventative measures being taken as we navigate COVID-19.

It is imperative that we look out for one another during these unprecedented times. Please support and offer help wherever you can, and if you need help, please get in contact via email at [email protected].

LATEST NEWS UPDATES

***FCRC Coronavirus Update 02/06/20***

The Fraser Coast Regional Council welcomes the news that unlimited travel is now permitted throughout Queensland and more people are allowed to gather at our facilities.

The relaxed restrictions mean that:
 Up to 20 people are now permitted at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre and Maryborough Aquatic Centre at one time.

 Maryborough and Hervey Bay Libraries will now re-open on Wednesday 3 June with limited opening hours and only 20 people (not including staff) allowed in each library at any one time.

(Maryborough and Hervey Bay libraries will open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9am – 4pm and Saturday 9am – 12 noon)

New social distancing and hygiene practices will be in place, with visits limited to 15 minutes while the Click and Collect service will be restricted to housebound and vulnerable community members;

 Council-owned caravan parks will re-open in coming days and will be able to take bookings from people across Queensland, subject to availability and social distancing requirements;

 Casual riding at the Maryborough Showgrounds & Equestrian Park will continue daily 8am – 4pm with an increased capacity of up to 20 people. Bookings are essential;

 The Tinana and Granville Landfills are re-opening this week following the completion of maintenance, while the Maryborough Reuse and Recycle Centre (tip shop) is due to reopen on Wednesday 17 June;

 The Story Bank, Bond Store and Gatakers Artspace will re-open from Saturday 13 June, while the Brolga Theatre will re-open in a limited capacity from Saturday 11 July.

WetSide will remain closed as per its usual seasonal closure at this time of year while the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery and Maryborough Customs House will also remain closed for maintenance works.

ℹ️ Find more info on Stage 2 here: https://bit.ly/3ckJ3JY

The National Cabinet meeting (8/05/2020) agreed on a three-step plan and a national framework to reopen Australia’s economy and society with the goal of moving through all three steps by July 2020.

This is fantastic news and provides an early view of the timetable back to come normalcy.

It will be up to the states and territories to decide when the changes come into effect. The premier has since confirmed that Queensland will commence Step One from May 15.

The key points from the meeting are:

  1. Restrictions to be eased in three steps completed by July
  2. State and territories to decide when they introduce changes
  3. Progress on steps will be reviewed every three weeks by National Cabinet

STEP ONE:

  • People will be allowed to have up to five visitors in their home and be in groups of 10 outdoors.
  • Restaurants, cafes and shops have been given the green light to reopen and local and regional travel is on the cards under the first step of National Cabinet’s plan to ease coronavirus restrictions, dependent on states and territories.
  • Libraries, community centres and playgrounds will also be allowed to reopen to the public in step one, but must follow the physical distancing and hand hygiene guidelines.

STEP TWO:

  • Groups of 20 allowed in places like gyms, beauty therapists, cinemas and galleries.
  • But the Government said some jurisdictions may allow larger numbers in some circumstances.
  • Some interstate travel will also be permitted, to be guided by each state and territory.

STEP THREE:

  • This final step, will see people return to workplaces and gatherings of up to 100 people allowed and pubs to reopen.
  • National Cabinet will review the progress of each step every three weeks, to see what impact the changes have on coronavirus infection numbers

Fraser Coast COVID-19 Response Resources 1

NEW $10,000 COVID GRANTS AVAILABLE TO SMALL BUSINESS 
The Queensland Government announced two new initiatives that have the potential to strongly benefit the Fraser Coast and the tourism sector: 

  • The launch of the $100 million Small Business Adaption Grants program which provides grants of up to $10,000 to Queensland small businesses to help them counter the impacts of COVID-19, and; 

  • $25 million to fast-track tourism infrastructure to create further jobs and provide new tourism products and experiences across Queensland.  The $25 million fund is for “ shovel ready priority projects” and FCTE is working with the Fraser Coast Regional Council on submitting projects that will delivery most benefit to the region. 

These programs are part of the $500 million dollar Worker Assistance Package supporting Queensland’s Economic Recovery Strategy: Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs, announced on Wednesday. 

The $100 million Small Business Adaption Grants program aims to support businesses subject to closure, or those highly impacted by COVID-19 shutdown restrictions, to adapt and sustain their operations and build resilience.    

The funding can be used towards financial, legal or other professional advice, marketing and communications activities and digital/technology strategy development, capital costs associated with meeting COVID-19 SAFE requirements, specialised digital equipment to move business operations online and meeting business costs.  

To be eligible, the business must: 

  • Demonstrate that business revenue has been significantly impacted since 23 March 2020 over a minimum 1-month period due to the onset and management of COVID-19 

  • Employ staff and have fewer than 20 employees at the time of applying for the grant 

  • Have a valid Australian Business Number (ABN) active as at 23 March 2020 

  • Be registered for GST 

  • Have a Queensland headquarters 

  • Have an annual turnover over $75,000 for the last financial year 

  • Have a payroll of less than $1.3 million 

  • Not be insolvent or have owners/directors that are an undischarged bankrupt. 

APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN NOW AND WILL CLOSE WHEN FUNDING HAS BEEN EXHAUSTED SO IT IS IMPORTANT SUBMISSIONS ARE LODGED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program - APPLY NOW for grants of up to $10,000 to support small or micro business subject to closure or highly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown restrictions, to adapt and sustain their operations, and build resilience. 

For more information phone 1300 654 687 or email [email protected] 

The $25m fast-track tourism infrastructure program is part of a $50m package announced by Minister for State Development, Tourism and Innovation Minister Kate Jones. The first $25m will go to support Queensland’s tourism icons, notably the iconic theme parks and animal parks as major employers, so they can get through the COVID-19 and continue to make their critical contribution to Queensland. 

FCTE PARTNER ACTIVITY  

More than 35 FCTE Partners joined week 1 of a 12-week digital upskilling course being conducted by Tourism Tribe. The course involves two one-hour workshops a week targeting client communication on steroids covering topics including, Facebook Messenger and Chat, email marketing, setting up a lead magnet for your website, diversifying your product and markets and setting up your own blog.  

The workshop topics introduced in the first one-hour session are followed up by technical sessions later in the week where participants can discuss their challenges and successes by group chat with digital experts. 

  • Accommodation properties that continue to operate for essential and permitted travellers and have shared facilities such as shared bathrooms, kitchens and living/communal areas, must have a health management plan, unless the facility operates solely for permanent residents of the facility.
  • Facilities that are required to have a health management plan in place must operate in compliance with that health management plan. Find guidelines and a sample template of a health management plan in the right-hand column near the top on the Non-Essential Business Direction page on Queensland Health’s website.
  • Businesses that provide dining-in for customers, such as restaurants, cafes, pubs, RSLs, clubs, and hotels; and beauty therapy services, are required to complete and display a COVID Safe checklist before trading ahead of Stage 1 easing of restrictions this Saturday.
  • Questions on the public health directions: If you have questions specific to your business operation, a request for an exemption or are seeking an interpretation of the Queensland Health Directions, you can contact your TEQ Destination team, or log these directly via Queensland Health’s website.
  • Getting ready to return: Safe Work Australia has developed specialised industry guidelines and information to assist businesses to return to work in a COVID-19-safe environment. There is also a range of resources including printable fact sheets, posters, infographics and guidance materials for businesses to use in the workplace.
  • Download the app: the Australian Government has now launched its COVIDsafe app, which the Prime Minister has said will play a key role in managing any future outbreaks and support governments to further ease restrictions.
  • JobKeeper payments will be exempt from payroll tax The Queensland Government has today announced that JobKeeper exempt from payroll tax
  • COVID-Safe Q&As: FCTE encourages Partners to continue checking these Q&As as they are being constantly updated as new information is released.
  • COVID-Safe Checklists for business: There are further COVID19 Safe Checklists on the government’s COVID-19 website. The final versions of the checklists for cafes and restaurants will be uploaded as soon as it’s been approved. The checklist can be found here
  • WEB PORTAL FOR ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS: If tourism businesses have questions quite specific to the operation of their business, they are encouraged to lodge a question via the Queensland Health website here

Anyone seeking more information and the latest advice about the coronavirus is encouraged to visit www.australia.gov.au and www.covid19.qld.gov.au/

TRANS-TASMAN COVID-SAFE TRAVEL ZONE

The Australian and New Zealand prime ministers have jointly announced a commitment to introducing a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so.

Both have agreed to commence work on a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone – easing travel restrictions between Australia and New Zealand. Such an arrangement would be put in place once it is safe to do so and necessary health, transport and other protocols had been developed and met, to ensure the protection of public health.

This arrangement recognises that Australia and New Zealand are both successfully addressing the spread of COVID-19 and any arrangement would need to take into account state and territory movement restrictions.

The Prime Ministers noted they had worked closely together on Australia’s and New Zealand’s respective border settings since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Each country had allowed the other’s citizens to transit on their way home, and to enter the other country if they ordinarily lived there.

These measures reflected Australia and New Zealand’s special relationship, our Single Economic Market agenda, and the long history of freedom of movement between the two countries.

  • Tax Relief | View here
  • Joint statement – PM Jacinta Ardern and Scott Morrison announce plans for trans-Tasman Travel Zone | 05 May 2020
  • COVIDSafe: New app to slow the spread of coronavirus | 26 April 2020
  • Honour the service and sacrifice at home for ANZAC Day | 19 April 2020
  • Early childhood education and care relief package | 02 April 2020
  • Maritime Safety Queensland daily COVID-19 update | 31 March 2020
  • $130 billion JobKeeper payment to keep Australians in a job | 30 March 2020
  • Queensland Rail service changes | 30 March 2020
  • Home confinement direction for Queenslanders | 29 March 2020
  • $500m Queensland Government loans to support workers | 17 March 2020
  • Events in lockdown | 16 March 2020
  • New Australian Government Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit | 16 March 2020
  • Federal Government launches national campaign to inform Australians about Coronavirus | 13 March 2020

More information about Australian Government support for individuals is available here.

LATEST FROM FRASER COAST REGIONAL COUNCIL

FCTE INITIATIVES

CLOSED FACEBOOK GROUP FOR PARTNERS
We have received strong support for the establishment of a closed Facebook group for Partner communication during this dreadful time and now have this set up and are urging Partners to join. The Facebook group provides a forum for operator feedback, requests and comment, so as an industry we can bind together and support each other. Click here to join

FCTE ‘SUPPORT LOCAL’ CAMPAIGN
Now more than ever we understand that it is critical to get behind local businesses and operators, to buy local, and support our community which continues to struggle immensely with the ongoing impacts caused by COVID-19. Click here to follow

FRASER COAST BUCKET LIST CAMPAIGN
FCTE’s latest initiative as part of our current marketing campaign, ‘Destination Dreaming’, travellers are encouraged to write down their Fraser Coast Bucket List items. Whether it be nature and outdoor adventure activities, arts and culture, food and accommodation, participants have the chance to win a travel voucher towards ticking their dream activities and adventures off their list, once travel restrictions are lifted across the country. 

RESOURCES FOR INDUSTRY                                                                                              

FOR BUSINESS
Who to contactThe Queensland and Australian Governments have dedicated teams ready to take calls or respond to emails and social media questions on the assistance packages available to businesses affected by COVID-19.

 

Queensland Government 

For the latest Chief Health Officer public health directions visit health.qld.gov.au 

Business Queensland website – COVID-19 news, updates and advice to support small business and industry; use the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Assistance Finder.

Call the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training hotline on 1300 654 687, email [email protected] or take the business impact survey to link up with relevant support.

If you have goods or services to offer the Queensland Government that supports efforts to treat and control COVID-19 please contact [email protected]

Follow Business Queensland on FacebookLinkedinTwitterInstagram and YouTubeYou can also subscribe to the Small Business Connect newsletter.

Australian Government 

COVIDSafe – the Australian Government has launched a voluntary coronavirus contact tracing app
to help slow the spread of coronavirus through early notification of possible exposure. Visit www.covidsafe.gov.au

Visit the Australian Government’s website to see the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from Government.

Call the Coronavirus Business Support service on 13 28 46 or email Coronavirus business support.

The Australian Government’s Coronavirus Australia app is available from the Apple Store and Google Play and you can also join their WhatsApp channel.

 
MOVEMENT RESTRICTIONS  
The Home confinement, movement and gathering direction has been updated.For full information on Public Health Directions visit Queensland Health here. 

 

From 2 May, in addition to leaving home for essential purposes, Queenslanders may leave for some recreational activity. This includes having a picnic, going for a drive, taking a boat out and shopping for an outfit or a book, provided you:

  • stay within 50km of your home
  • practice social distancing
  • are only joined by people who usually live with you, or one other person
  • day trips only – no overnight stays.

As part of the easing of restrictions some areas of National Parks will reopen for day use only. This includes the reopening of summit tracks at Mount Coolum, the Glasshouse Mountains and Mt Bartle Frere. All campgrounds remain closed.

A full list of the current closures to national parks, conservation parks, resource reserves, state forests and recreation areas can be found at www.des.qld.gov.au

From 2 May 2020, all Seqwater and Sunwater dams and recreation areas will re-open to the public for day use. Visit www.seqwater.com.au

Social distancing measures are still in place.

Restrictions on gatherings – public gatherings, excluding household members – are limited to a maximum of two people.

This public health direction is outlined here and is in place until 19 May 2020 and may be extended further. 

Holidays are still on hold. Tourism tourism operators should not be encouraging people to holiday at their business. This also means cancelling any future bookings while the public health directive is in place.

Travel bookings and refunds – where appropriate and possible, businesses are being encouraged to provide viable remedies for customers including refunds or honouring bookings for another time when it is safe to travel and holiday again. Information on consumer advice.

People are banned from travelling to Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) and K’gari (Fraser Island) unless they live there, work there, or are travelling for other permitted purposes.

Information about Queensland state border access restrictions, including who is exempt. You can also read the Chief Health Officer directive on border closures for more information.

Latest information on non-essential business closures.

For more information on the Mandatory Code, click here.

For more information on the JobKeeper Payment, click here.

The Australian Government has also released a Coronavirus app and Whatsapp channel. The App is available on both Android and iPhones. To access the Whatsapp channel, you can go to the website here: aus.gov.au/whatsapp

Generally for more information on Coronavirus and the Government’s response, please visit: www.treasury.gov.au/coronavirus or www.australia.gov.au.

Alternatively you can contact the business.gov.au support line at 13 28 46.

 
TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION 
From midnight on 10 April 2020:

 

  • anyone returning home will require a border pass to cross back into Queensland.
  • anyone returning to Queensland who has been in a COVID-19 declared hotspot in the last 14 days will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days, unless they meet an exemption category.

Declared Hotspots are now listed on the Queensland Health website, along with an update to the Border Restrictions Direction (No 4).

Travellers to Queensland from other states and territories will not be allowed to enter, unless they are an exempt person.

Read more about border restrictions here and find out what the Queensland border restrictions mean for business and industry in this fact sheet. 

Hotels, hostels, B&Bs, AirBnBs, backpacker, boarding houses, camping and caravan parks – can remain open for those people who live permanently there or who require interim accommodation where their primary residence is not available.

Backpackers who are temporary residents at a hostel, are subject to home confinement and should only leave the premises for the permitted purposes. At all times, Social distancing advice must be followed.

Working holiday makers/seasonal workers already in Queensland are encouraged to use the Harvest Labour website to register for and seek work. They should not be approaching farms directly to seek work or accommodation. Please note the temporary changes to visa arrangements for seasonal workers.

Working holiday makers seeking to enter Queensland must have evidence of secured work. Holiday makers planning to move within the state are encouraged to secure work before changing residence.

Useful links:

The Australian Government has Restricted entry to remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities (designated areas) in Queensland in an effort to slow the spread of the novel COVID-19.

 
Businesses and Sole Traders
For an overview of Australian Government support see this fact sheet.

 

The Queensland and Australian Governments have dedicated customer representatives to explain the assistance available to business. For an overview of Queensland Government support visit Business Queensland and contact the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training hotline: 1300 654 687 and [email protected] For more information on Australian Government support talk over the phone, live chat or email from 8am – 8pm through the Coronavirus business support service. Phone: 13 28 46 or email Coronavirus business support.

The Queensland Government’s $27.25m immediate response package, available to businesses across the state:

  • Business Resilience workshops are being delivered across the state in the coming weeks/months to assist in building the financial resilience of small businesses. The local delivery of the workshop will support a place-based approach and cohesive development of broader resilience for local small businesses and their communities. To find out more about the workshops and register your business, please contact 1300 654 687.
  • Additionally, the Mentoring for Growth program currently has more than 50 mentors ready to connect with impacted small businesses. Mentors are available to provide tailored support including financial mentoring and business planning. Please contact 1300 654 687 or [email protected] for more information.
  • For larger employers, the information about payroll tax deferral is available here

Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses – The Australian Government is temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issues a statutory demand

Commercial and residential tenancies – evictions will be put on hold over the next 6 months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress, who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Australian banks will defer loan repayment for businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months which applies to all current small business operators including sole traders. Relief measures for commercial tenants and landlords have been put in place in response to the mandatory code of conduct developed by the Australian Government. 

In addition, the Queensland Government has launched the Residential Rental Hub – a central point where you can find information and support on the COVID-19 changes affecting renting in Queensland.

Retail lease disputes – the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) may be able to help with small business operators to resolve complaints and disputes. Submit an online form, and a case management officer will be in contact. Email [email protected] or phone 1300 650 460.

State land rent relief – The Queensland Government has waived land rent from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020, for farmers, businesses, tourism operators and community and sports clubs, to support business during COVID-19. Restrictions apply. Click here for more information or call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Land tax relief – Businesses can apply for a land tax rebate reducing land tax liabilities by 25% for eligible properties for the 2019-20 assessment year, however do not need to apply for the foreign surcharge.

The increased instant asset write-off – for sole traders and employees. The threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and is accessible to more businesses.

The increased and accelerated income support for sole traders and employees supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. Payments will commence from 27 April 2020.

Backing Business Investment (BBI) – a time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions.

Boosting cash flow for employers – Temporary cash flow support to small and medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations through two sets of cash flow boosts to support employers to retain employees.Support provided via tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 and $100,000.

Jobs support loans – Due to overwhelming demand, the Queensland Government’s $500 million COVID-19 Jobs Support Loans scheme has now closed to new applications. Click here for more information on expected processing times and next steps.

Early access to superannuation– Sole traders or casual workers with an income or hours reduced by 20% or more, access up to $10,000 of the superannuation tax-free.

Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme –  the Australian Government will provide a guarantee of 50% to support short-term loans. A list of participating lenders is here

NBN Co financial relief – SME’s can more affordably access the National Broadband Network during COVID-19 with relief measures including waiving wholesale monthly costs paid by internet providers for businesses facing financial hardship and providing discounted access to business-grade services.

Vehicle registration relief – if businesses are not using their vehicles they can de-register the vehicles and receive a refund of the unused portion and not occur ongoing costs such as periodic inspections.

 
Finance for exporters – the COVID-19 Export Capital Facility will provide loans between $250,000 and $50 million to previously profitable exporters that, due to COVID-19, are unable to secure finance from commercial sources. Visit the website or contact Export Finance Australia’s experienced team on 1800 093 724. 

 

Indigenous business support – Indigenous Business Australia is offering specialised support for Indigenous businesses, including working capital assistance of up to $100,000 loan/grant package. IBA will be prioritising businesses who are not eligible for any other government stimulus packages. Register interest in applying for the package.

Vehicle registration relief – A number of changes have been made to help Queenslanders with costs and requirements relating to personal and business vehicle registration if they are not currently using the vehicle. Visit www.qld.gov.au/transport/registration/cancel

SME power bill relief – Small and medium businesses may be eligible for $500 rebate off their energy bill.

Any small business impacted by COVID19 can now contact the Rural Financial Counselling Service  in the following areas:
Southern Queensland – phone (07) 4622 5500
North Queensland – phone  (07) 4652 5669

Brisbane City Council (BCC) has a $7.9 million business relief package which includes waiving charges, rents and permit levies for businesses and Council lessees until at least 30 June. BCC is also offering to waive rates for impacted businesses suffering financial stress, refund fees for events cancelled due to COVID-19, and refund business fees paid since 1 March 2020.  Read more here.

Councils across Queensland are offering support packages to local business. Visit your local council’s website to find out more.

National COVID-19 safe workplace principles – a nationally-consistent, industry-specific work health and safety guidance on COVID-19, accessible Safe Work Australia.

Beyond Blue has a new resource designed to support small business owners improve their mental health and wellbeing at work.

Information for charities and non-for-profit organisations can be found here at the Australian Charities and Non-For-Profits Commission.

Boosting cash flow for employers – provides up to $100,000 back to small and medium-sized businesses, with a minimum payment of $20,000 for eligible businesses. The payment will be tax-free.

Jobkeeper Payments – Updated Information
The Australian Government has introduced a JobKeeper Payment designed to help businesses affected by COVID-19 to cover the costs of their employees’ wages.

The Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight, per eligible employee, for up to 6 months as part of a $130bn package. Employers must pass this payment on to their employees.

Eligible employers include businesses structured through companies, partnerships, trusts and sole traders. Self-employed individuals and not-for-profit entities, including charities, will also be eligible.

The JobKeeper Payment is open to full-time, part-time and long-term casuals (employed on a regular basis for at least the last 12 months) and stood down employees. An employee must have been employed on 1 March 2020 and continue to be engaged by that employer. Employees that are re-engaged by the employer on 1 March 2020 will also be eligible.

Employers will be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment if:

  • their business has a turnover of less than $1bn and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30% relative to a comparable prior period (of at least a month); or
  • their business has a turnover of $1bn or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50% relative to a comparable prior period (of at least a month); and
  • the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

Self-employed individuals will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment if they have suffered or expect to suffer a 30% decline in turnover relative to a comparable prior period (of at least a month).

The JobKeeper Payment will start on 30 March, with the first payment to be received by employers in the first week of May. Businesses must register their interest in participating in the Payment from 30 March 2020 on the ATO website.

Banking Assistance Available 
With the industry welcoming the wage subsidy solution that we have sought from the Commonwealth Government, many operators are not in a position to come up with the cash to pay wages until May when the federal funding arrives.  We have sought advice directly from the Australian Banking Association and Anna Bligh.  An announcement was made today and we received this information.

Australia’s banks are indicating that they are supporting the JobKeeper program (updated fact sheet), while employees wait for the scheme to make the first payments,  Businesses may be able to use the upcoming JobKeeper program payment as a basis to seek credit in order to pay their employees until the first payment is made.

“As many businesses face a number of weeks of little or no cash flow before they receive payments under the Government’s JobKeeper program, Australian banks may be able to help. “

“Many businesses may be eligible for credit, for example, an extension to their overdraft, which can offer them cashflow to pay their staff, while they wait for the JobKeeper program to make the first payments. Each business will be assessed on a case by case basis to determine the assistance that may be appropriate to their circumstances.

“Businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis should contact their bank to access these initiatives and discuss what support is available to them including options to defer loan repayments for up to six months,” she said.
ABA CEO Anna Bligh

For more information click here

 
Supporting staff
Jobs Finder Queensland portal – a new online jobs portal to connect Queenslanders who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 with new job opportunities. Any Queensland job seeker can register their details, skills and location and access free online training at www.jobsfinder.qld.gov.auCareer Transition Assistance (CTA) program – assists mature job seekers aged 45 and over with training and support to improve their digital literacy, job opportunities and identifying transferrable skills. More information can be found at www.employment.gov.au/career-transition-assistance

 

JobKeeper package – the Commissioner has extended the time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods, from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020. JobKeeper offers a wage subsidy of up to $1500 per fortnight per employee to keep eligible businesses paying their staff.

To enrol for the JobKeeper payment, employers should follow the steps outlined here.

The Australian Tax Office has prepared a number of JobKeeper guides to assist employers and sole traders understand and apply for JobKeeper payments.

The ATO have also created practical, step-by-step guides for the entire process for sole tradersemployers reporting through Single Touch Payroll, and employers not reporting through Single Touch Payroll. The JobKeeper Payment factsheet for employers states the first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May.

Registered charities are now able to access the JobKeeper COVID-19 wage subsidy if they experience a 15 per cent decline in turnover (reduced from the 30 per cent decline threshold currently in place for all businesses with a turnover of $1 billion or less).

Supporting apprentices and trainees  – Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of their apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.

Jobs support loans – This scheme is for Queensland businesses and non-profit organisations financially affected by COVID-19. Eligible business types include sole traders, partnerships, private and public companies and trusts.

Suspension of a registered training contract due to coronavirus – more information at Business Queensland

Payroll tax relief package – Includes a range of payroll tax relief measures including applications for refunds of payroll tax and payroll tax holiday and deferrals.

Casual employees – The Australian Government is making support payments quicker to access by waiving the usual waiting period periods for casual employees.

Worker transition scheme –  For workers who may find themselves without work.

The Australian Government Jobs Hubs – actively supporting businesses to connect with those looking for work.

Centrelink – individuals can register their intention to claim a Centrelink payment if they have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) at servicesaustralia.gov.au/

Working holiday makers/seasonal workers already in Qld are encouraged to use the Harvest Labour website to register for / seek work.  They should not be approaching farms directly to seek work or accommodation.

Early access to superannuation – Casual workers with an income or hours reduced by 20% or more, access up to $10,000 of their superannuation tax-free.

Fair Work Australia –workplace obligations and entitlements – Help and advice for employers and employees with entitlements during this time.

Fair Work Ombudsman – Provides education, assistance, advice and guidance to employers, employees, outworkers, outworker entities and organisations.

A new COVID-19 Rental Grant is available for Queenslanders who have lost their job due to the impacts of COVID-19 and who do not have access to other financial assistance. They can also visit the Residential Rental Hub for information and support on COVID-19 changes affecting renting in Queensland.

Residential Tenancies Authority – The RTA provides further information on residential renting. Contact can be made on their information line on 1800 497 161 from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday or from 9am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday, or text “Hi” to 0480 000 782.

 
Tourism business support
See the DITID website for more details. Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) has a dedicated page for business support during this COVID-19 pandemic.The Queensland Government COVID-19 economic relief package includes:

 

Funding for funding to exhibiting zoos and aquariums – provides vital funding to exhibiting zoos and aquariums whose tourism revenue stream has stopped as a result of the travel and social distancing restrictions in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Funding to the arts sector – Arts Queensland is implementing a number of measures including funding boosts, funding extensions, changes to funding application timeframes, and rent relief for tenants based in Queensland Government arts infrastructure.

QTIC micro-credential – will provide tourism and hospitality businesses and their staff with the opportunity to acquire specific skills, or micro-credentials, through a comprehensive online delivery platform. Coming soon. 

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) is offering free membership, advocacy and support. You can also call (07) 3236 1445.

Similarily, Austrade is offering a free downloadable guide to assist tourism businesses prepare, respond and recover from a crisis.

Support for wine producers – from 1 July 2020, wine producers applying for Export Market Development Grant program funding will be able to: claim for expenses incurred for events in 2019-2020 even if they were cancelled; and claim reimbursement for 50% of eligible EMDG expenses for promotional activities in 2019-2020 without the Export Performance Test applying.

 
Adapting your business model
COVID-19 Biz Booster free webinar series – a special series of free Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) Digital Solutions webinars is available for small businesses. Upcoming sessions include Move your business online instantly (Friday 1 May), Managing people in times of change and keeping work safe (Tuesday 5 May) and Google my business & local SEO during COVID-19 (Thursday 7 May).TIQ and Study Queensland have developed the Launch U Trade Accelerator (LTA) Program that will support exporters by connecting them with Queensland’s global talent pool. Queensland exporter’s taking part in the LTA Program will receive:

 

  • A tailored market research report for your business.
  • Local insights from a diverse group of global student talent
  • A 100% virtual project program with low overheads and no office space required
  • Find out more. https://bit.ly/LaunchU_Employ

Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur – great resources, support and suggestions on how to adapt and pivot your business

Supply chain issues – For manufacturers and businesses who are finding it difficult to obtain vital materials and supplies to remain open.

The Industry Capability Network (ICN) has established a portal as a forum for managing supply chain shortages, identifying gaps and facilitating local businesses to help fill these gaps.

Food businesses who want to change their business model i.e. move to home delivery services can get advice from Safe Food Queensland. 

#MakingItForQLD campaign – a call for Queensland manufacturers to re-purpose themselves to support Queensland during the COVID-19 crisis. Manufacturers or businesses having difficulties accessing supplies can visit qld.gov.au/qld-supplies

 
 
Getting ready to rebound
Business Mentoring Assistance – Mentoring for Growth – The Mentoring for Growth program has mentors ready to connect with impacted small businesses and may be able to provide tailored support including financial mentoring and business planning.Financial Resilience Workshops – Delivered by TAFE Queensland, these workshops will provide practical tools and skills to build business resilience as well as an opportunity to connect and network with other small businesses facing similar issues.

 

Market Diversification and Resilience Grants – To help develop alternative markets food and fishing exporters and critical supply chain partners.

Support for startups – Advance Queensland and the Office of Queensland Chief Entrepreneur are offering a range of virtual events to support businesses in the innovation ecosystem. Follow their social channels @AdvanceQueensland and @QChiefEntrepreneur for details.

Support for Female Founders – The Female Founders Impact Program is offering events to support women in business across the state.

Any small business impacted by COVID19 can now contact the Rural Financial Counselling Service  in the following areas:
Southern Queensland – phone (07) 4622 5500

North Queensland – phone  (07) 4652 5669

 
 
General
Business, Queensland, The Australian Cyber Security Centre and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission provide a range of information and online tools which explain how business can protect itself from online scams and adopt cyber security measures.  Find out more.Find out how Telstra and Optus are offering assistance via hardship programs for personal and small business customers.
Health and wellbeingVisit Queensland Health for the latest health information and instructions. You can also join the Australian Government WhatsApp group for the latest news and advice http://oz.gov.au/whatsapp

 

If you develop a fever, a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath within 14 days of overseas travel, contact a doctor or call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

Testing criteria has been broadened in Cairns, Gold Coast and Brisbane. Stay up-to-date with accurate information by visiting www.health.qld.gov.au/coronavirus

Social distancing of 1.5 metres – Social distancing is a public health practice with the key aim to prevent sick people from coming into close contact with others to slow down the spread of a disease. It also intends to reduce the chance of high-risk groups from becoming infected and to alleviate the burden on our health care systems and workers. When is self-isolation required? What is involved?

Queensland Health’s website also has information on how to look after your mental wellbeing in a crisis.

Other contacts:
Lifeline (Mental health and wellbeing) – phone 13 11 14
Beyondblue (Mental health and wellbeing) – phone 1300 224 636
Headspace  (Youth mental health and wellbeing) – phone 1800 650 890

Caring for othersDomestic and Family Violence support services – people experiencing domestic and family violence may be vulnerable during periods of isolation. If you believe a friend, family member or neighbour is experiencing domestic and family violence, please contact:

 

  • DVConnect Womensline on 1800 811 811 (24 hours, 7 days)
  • DVConnect Mensline on 1800 600 636 (9am-midnight, 7 days).
  • If they are in immediate danger or you fear for their safety, call Triple Zero (000) and ask for Queensland Police.

For more information, support or resources, visit qld.gov.au/domesticviolence

To support seniors who don’t have family, friends or neighbours, register for the Care Army on 1800 173 349 or at qld.gov.au/CareArmy.

Community Recovery Hotline – 1800 173 349 – for Queenslanders who do not have the capacity to look after themselves in quarantine and don’t have family or friends to assist.

Contact the Salvation Army or phone 1300 662 217.

 
 
MORE INFORMATION
KEY PARTNER CONTACTS AS FOLLOWS:
 
DITID Tourism​
[email protected]

 

DITID Innovation
[email protected]

Office of the QLD Chief Entrepreneur
[email protected]
(07) 3423 9500

TEQ
[email protected]
(07) 3535 3535

QTIC
[email protected]
(07) 3236 1445

Business Queensland
[email protected]
1300 654 687