Updates to Cross Border Travel - Updated COVID-19 Direction
The Emergency Management (Cross Border Travel No 3) (COVID-19) Direction 2020 has been revoked and replaced by the Emergency Management (Cross Border Travel No 4) (COVID-19) Direction 2020. This new Direction comes into effect at 0001hrs on Monday 11 May 2020.
The new direction now introduces a number of changes regarding persons considered to be essential travellers.
An Essential traveller must now keep records of close contacts for a 14 day period commencing on the date of their arrival in South Australia (or, if they remain in South Australia for a period of less than 14 days, for that period).
Updates to Non-Essential Business and Other Activities - Updated COVID-19 Direction
The Emergency Management (Non-Essential Business and Other Activities No 4) (COVID-19) Direction 2020 will be revoked and replaced by the Emergency Management (Non-Essential Business and Other Activities No 5) (COVID-19) Direction 2020. This new Direction comes into effect at 12:00 am on Monday 11 May 2020.
Funding boost to mobilise volunteers in response to COVID-19
In response to a surge in demand for the services of community organisations as a result of COVID-19, the Marshall Liberal Government has committed $20,000 to Volunteering SA&NT to help mobilise volunteers, ensuring essential services can continue to be delivered to our most vulnerable South Australians.
Wellbeing strategies and activities - "Open your World"
South Australians’ mental, physical, social and community wellbeing will receive further support after an unprecedented start to 2020 with the Marshall Liberal Government launching a ground-breaking new wellbeing strategy, Open Your World.
Open Your World will be a single source of information with a dedicated website promoting wellbeing, including tips on staying fit and healthy, activities for kids as well online resources for learning and skill development ranging from language classes to cooking courses.
Landlords and tenants to benefit from extra $50m in land tax relief
Residential and SME commercial tenants – including gyms, restaurants, cafes, beauty salons and hairdressers - suffering significantly as a result of COVID-19 restrictions will benefit from immediate rent reductions as part of a land tax relief package for their landlords.
The State Government is providing approximately $50 million in emergency land tax relief for landlords which is expected to assist thousands of SME businesses and residential tenants across South Australia – bringing to $120m total land tax savings for local investors over the next year.
Under the emergency scheme, which is modelled on similar packages in New South Wales and Victoria, eligible landlords will be offered a 25% reduction on their 2019-20 land tax liability on affected properties.
New dedicated relief hotline supporting South Australians in need
The new COVID-19 Relief Call Centre is a dedicated hotline activated by the Marshall Liberal Government, set up specifically to help South Australians, whether that be with personal hardship assistance, food relief, short-term accommodation advice or emotional and wellbeing support.
COVID-19 Relief Centre is run by Housing SA and operates 8am to 8pm 7 days/week: 1300 705 336.
$10,000 emergency cash grants for small businesses
Small businesses and not for profit entities that have suffered a significant loss of income or who have been forced to close can apply for a cash grant.
Applications for the grant will open shortly and will be available until the 1st June 2020.
State Government response, support and financial assistance
The South Australian Government has announced $1billion in relief measures and economic stimulus packages in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The $650m Jobs Rescue Package includes the establishment of two new funds - the $300m Business and Jobs Support Fund and the $250m Community and Jobs Support Fund.
The Business and Jobs Support Fund will be used to directly assist individual businesses and industry sectors facing potential collapse and the loss of thousands of jobs due to the ongoing impacts of coronavirus and necessary new restrictions to limit its spread.
Community organisations, such as sporting, arts and recreational bodies, non-profit organisations and some other industry sectors will be assisted through the new Community and Jobs Support Fund. This fund will also help with training of South Australians seeking new skills and employment and to assist organisations meet increased demand for services including emergency relief.
The Government will also provide a once off boost of $500 and bring forward the 2020-21 ‘Cost of Living Concession’ for households who are receiving the Centrelink JobSeeker Payment, assisting those who are unemployed or lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus restrictions.
For eligible homeowners, their 2020-21 payment of $215.10 will now become $715.10. Eligible tenants will receive $607.60.
Among the new initiatives in the Government’s second stimulus package:
Payroll tax relief (Up to $60 million of savings to business)
6-month waiver for all businesses with an annual payroll (grouped) up to $4 million
Eligible businesses won’t have to pay any payroll tax from April to September
This measure is expected to assist up to 2,400 businesses and save them up to $84,000 over the six months (average saving $25,000)
Employers with grouped annual wages above $4 million able to defer payroll tax payments for 6 months on demonstration of significant impacts on cash flow of coronavirus
Around 4,300 businesses will be able to access this payroll deferral and is expected to increase overall cash flow by around $580 million.
Land tax relief (Up to $13 million in additional savings)
From July, the Government’s significant land tax reforms will kick in, delivering $189m in savings to investors and landlords over the next three years.
Under the new measures, individuals and businesses with outstanding quarterly bills for 2019-20 able to defer payments for 6 months (up to 28,000 private land tax ownerships will benefit)
For 2020-21 Land Tax Transition Fund relief will be increased from 50% to 100% based on existing relief criteria guidelines – saving some investors up to $50,000
Fees and Charges
Waiver of liquor licence fees for 2020-21 for those hotels, restaurants, cafes and clubs forced to close as a result of new social distancing restrictions.
$300 million Business and Jobs Support Fund
A fund to support individual businesses and industry sectors directly affected by coronavirus, and face potential collapse – and the loss of thousands of jobs – as a result
$250 million Community and Jobs Fund
A fund to support community organisations, sporting, arts and recreational bodies, non-profit organisations as well as some industry sectors whose operations have been impacted by the coronavirus
Will also help with training of South Australians seeking new skills and employment and to assist organisations meet increased demand for services including emergency relief.
Cost of Living Concessions (An estimated additional benefit of about $30 million)
A once-off boost of $500 and bring forward the 2020-21 ‘Cost of Living Concession’ for households who are receiving the Centrelink JobSeeker Payment, assisting those who are unemployed or lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus restrictions.
For eligible homeowners, their 2020-21 payment of $215.10 will now become $715.10. Eligible tenants will receive $607.60.
Access to accrued leave for public sector workforce
If a public servant has a family member who has lost their job and moved onto Commonwealth benefits, they will be able to receive their accrued leave down to a limit of 2 retained weeks (annual and long service leave)
The Skills for Business scheme offers small businesses up to $5000 for every new apprentice or trainee hired in SA on a paid training contract, as well as advice on how to address a business’ skills and training needs and access subsidies.
For more information about the Skills for Business package and to apply for financial support to hire an apprentice, visit skills.sa.gov.au/support
Fast-tracking infrastructure projects
$120 million of new infrastructure projects will be fast tracked, including;
$52 million for targeted regional road network repair and improvement, including on the Stuart Highway, Yorke Highway, Dukes Highway and Riddoch Highway;
$35 million to rehabilitate and resurface the South Eastern Freeway between the Tollgate and Crafers;
$15 million for Heysen Tunnel refit and safety upgrade;
$12 million for a higher capacity North-South Freight Route by-passing Adelaide; and,
$6 million to seal Adventure Way and Innamincka Airport Road
Planning and Development Fund
The Marshall Government has doubled the Planning and Development Fund available this year to $50 million, when matched with the local government contribution on a 50/50 basis.
The current grant round has also been extended until 9 April to give councils more time to submit ‘shovel ready’ projects for funding.
Projects could include revitalisation of reserves and parks, linear parks, coastal reserves, trails and open space linkages, foreshore and riverfront precincts, civic plazas, town squares and main streets.
SA border closures
To assist in reducing the spread of COVID-19 within South Australia, restrictions have been placed on the movement of travellers into the state of South Australia. Border management is enforced by SA Police.
Students in South Australian schools now have access to modern online learning resources to support their education at home, through the centralised Our Learning SA website. The new site will support students, teachers and families by complementing their classroom education – through access to curated curriculum resources across all learning areas that are taught in Australian schools and preschools.
The website supports:
continued learning between school and home;
students with opportunities to work independently;
parents and caregivers – with resources and guidance to support learning at home; and
teachers – with resources to support them in teaching the Australian curriculum
Mental health support
A new support line has been launched by the State Government to link people with dedicated counsellors to maintain their mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will be staffed by trained Lifeline counsellors, and will receive calls and also provide a call-back support service for people in distress.
The support line will provide video and phone support for people with COVID-19 who remain in isolation, people in quarantine, or anyone who is staying at home.
The support line will be staffed from 8am to 8pm and can be reached at 1800 632 753.
Tele-support for vulnerable people
The State Government is encouraging the community to register themselves, loved ones and friends for the Red Cross Telecross REDi service.
Specially trained Red Cross staff and volunteers will make the calls, asking clients questions including how they are coping and if they need medical or food supplies, as well as reiterating latest government health advice.
Vulnerable people, their friends or loved ones can register for the Telecross REDi COVID19 service by phone 1800 188 071 or register online at register.redcross.org.au
Regional Growth Fund
The opening of the third funding round of the Regional Growth Fund has been brought forward to help provide economic stimulus to our regions.
Applications are now being sought for the $5 million competitive round for projects that will strengthen regional economies and provide tangible social benefits to local communities.
The State Government is boosting the number of highly skilled nurses and midwives in the health workforce as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response.
The strategy to increase nursing and midwifery workforce capacity and capability includes:
Rapid upskilling of nurses by working with education partners
Fast-tracking recruitment of nurses and midwives with a range of skills including intensive care, home care and aged care
Supporting student nurses to assist in key COVID-19 response functions, including as part of multi-disciplinary teams in sample collection centres, testing clinics and border screening
Developing innovative models of care that allow nurses/midwives to work more flexibly across a number of healthcare sites or through a hospital at home model
Supporting nurses/midwives through clinical mentoring and coaching
Investigating the capacity of part-time nurses/midwives to increase their hours.
Enforcement and fines
The State Government has stepped up measures to protect South Australians during the coronavirus pandemic by introducing on-the-spot fines for individuals and businesses who do not follow directions from the Police Commissioner under the Emergency Management Act.
From March 28, individuals failing to self-isolate as required will face a $1,000 fine and businesses flouting laws to control the pandemic will face a $5,000 fine.
You can call police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, where reports can be anonymous, to report breaches of the pandemic control restrictions.