The Federal Government & Covid-19: Assistance for severely affected regions and sectors

The Federal Government & Covid-19

Assistance for severely affected regions and sectors

 

The Government has set aside $1 billion to support communities, regions and industries most significantly affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. These funds will be available to assist during the outbreak and to help with the recovery. In addition, the Government is assisting our airline industry through a package of up to $715 million. 

 

SUPPORT FOR CORONAVIRUS-AFFECTED REGIONS, COMMUNITIES AND INDUSTRIES 

Summary 

The Government has set aside an initial $1 billion to support those regions, communities and industries that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the Coronavirus, including those heavily reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education. The $1 billion will be spent through existing or newly established Government programs or initiatives. 

As an initial measure, the Government will waive the Environmental Management Charge for tourism businesses that operate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The $1 billion fund will also be used to provide additional assistance to help businesses identify alternative export markets or disrupted supply chains. Targeted measures will also be developed to further promote tourism. 

Eligibility 

The Deputy Prime Minister will work with affected industries and communities to develop recovery plans and measures. 

Timing 

The $1 billion will be available for distribution through existing or new mechanisms as soon as practicable. 

Budget impact 

This measure will be funded with an initial $1 billion. 

 

SUPPORT FOR AUSTRALIAN AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS 

Summary 

The Government will provide initial support to our airline industry through an estimated $715 million package of relief from a range of taxes and Government charges. This package will support our aviation sector through an unprecedented period of disruption to international and domestic air travel. 

Reimburse aviation fuel taxes 

The Government will provide commercial and aeromedical aircraft operators with relief from aviation fuel tax (excise and equivalent customs duty) from 1 February 2020 for a period of 8 months. Currently, aviation fuel excise (and the equivalent customs duty) of 3.556 cents per litre is applied to all aviation fuel consumed for domestic aviation operations. 

Relief from Airservices Australia charges 

The Government will provide our domestic aviation industry with relief from Airservices Australia charges from 1 February 2020 for a period of 8 months. 

Airservices Australia provide a range of services to domestic and international aircraft, for which it charges fees to airlines. These charges are generally linked to the size of aircraft by weight and include amounts for Terminal Navigation, Enroute Services, Rescue and Firefighting and Meteorological Services.

Provide a rebate for Domestic Aviation Security 

The Government will provide commercial and aeromedical aircraft operators with relief from domestic aviation security costs from 1 February 2020 for a period of 8 months. 

The Government sets standards for security screening services that are generally provided by airports to airlines. Charges for these services are determined by commercial negotiations between airlines and airports. The Government will provide a rebate for these costs. 

Fund Regional Aviation Security 

The Government will provide additional funding to cover the implementation costs associated with enhanced regional airport security requirements and temporary funding for operational costs associated with these requirements. 

This will provide regional airports and regional airlines relief from the costs associated with these enhanced measures. 

Eligibility 

Support will be available to businesses conducting commercial and aeromedical aircraft operations that are subject to the taxes, fees, charges and costs covered by the package. 

Timing 

The aviation sector will be supported through relief from a range of taxes and Government charges between 1 February and 30 September 2020. 

Budget impact 

This measure is estimated to have a financial impact of up to $715 million. 

 

ATO ADMINISTRATIVE RELIEF 

Summary 

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) will provide administrative relief for certain tax obligations (similar to relief provided following the bushfires) for taxpayers affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, on a case-by-case basis. This includes the ability to defer payment of certain taxes up to six months, and allowing businesses to vary pay as you go instalment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter. Business that vary to zero can claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters. The ATO will set up a temporary shop front in Cairns within the next few weeks with dedicated staff specialising in assisting small business. In addition, the ATO will consider ways to enhance its presence in other significantly affected regions, making it easier for people to apply for relief. The ATO is considering further temporary shop fronts and face-to-face options. 

Eligibility 

All taxpayers affected by the Coronavirus outbreak can contact the ATO for assistance. Taxpayers can contact the ATO on 1800 806 218 or visit the ATO website for further information at: www.ato.gov.au

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION 

For more information on the Australian Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus visit treasury.gov.au/coronavirus.

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