Prime Minister Scott Morrison has addressed the nation after the conclusion of the most recent National Cabinet Meeting.
Stay Home This Easter Weekend
The Prime Minster again stressed the importance of staying at home this Easter long weekend, stating failure to do so could undo everything Australia has achieved so far.
Commercial Tenancies Code
A mandatory code will be rolled out regarding commercial tenancies, applicable in cases where the tenant or landlord is eligible for the Jobkeeper payments, and business turnover is $50 million or less.
The code discusses reducing the cost of a lease by at least 50%. In the case of a payment deferral, tenants must be given at least 12 months to pay back the costs once the pandemic period ends.
In keeping with the new code, landlords must not terminate a lease and tenants must honour the lease, with the lease cost to be reduced to reflect the trading reduction of the business.
This supports the Hibernation Strategy, intended to preserve the pillars and foundations of the Australian economy to allow rebuilding and regrowth post COVID-19.
The Hibernation Strategy also intends to keep loans, jobs, and leases in place, and prevent insolvencies and bankruptcies. Commercial tenancy actions are important for these reasons.
Ultimately, the Prime Minster stated it is up to the landlord and the tenant to come to an arrangement together, as there is no singular solution.
The goal is for tenants to remain in leases, and for the process to be both proactive and constructive.
Specific decisions will be made depending on states and territories.
The Prime Minister confirmed that parents who are unable to provide a suitable learning environment at home won’t be made to choose between their jobs or their children.
The Education Ministers are meeting for further discussions.
The modelling is currently theoretical and is based in international case data. The Prime Minister stated that it does not model Australian responses and does not predict case contractions, duration of COVID-19, or death rate.
Instead, the modelling confirms that by taking the measures Australia has put in place, a difference can indeed be made.
The National Cabinet will be seeking further modelling, with Australian case data to be included.
Dr. Brendan Murphy’s Key Points:
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Murphy provided an update on Australia’s COVID-19 situation, stating the country currently has 5844 cases, and 44 deaths. Less than 100 people are in the ICU, and less than 40 people are on ventilators.
Whilst these figures are generally low, Dr. Murphy stated the primary concern is the 500+ people who acquired COVID-19 from others in the community who were not aware of the infection.
The Chief Medical Officer stated although the reductions seen so far are impressive, the measures cannot be relaxed, and must continue to be embraced by the Australian community so as not to undo the work that has been done to flatten the curve.
More info to come.
- SA Returns To Zero Active COVID-19 CasesA hard border closure is now in effect between SA and Victoria and all SA residents and essential travellers approved to enter SA will be required to quarantine for 14 days, or perform their essential duties under strict guidelines.
- Testing Blitz For Recent Victoria Travellers & Mobile Testing Vans LaunchedEffective immediately, SA Health has launched a testing blitz, where anyone who has been to Victoria in recent weeks will be required to present themselves immediately for testing.
- SA Records Zero New COVID-19 Cases As Border With Victoria ClosesFrom midnight tonight, a hard border closure between Victoria and South Australia will come into effect.
- New Virus Surveillance Plan To Test Elective Surgery Patients For COVID-19Fourteen public and private hospitals across Australia are taking part in the project which will see about 3,000 patients get a nasal swab and blood samples taken while under general anaesthesia.
- SA Border To Victoria Closed, Nightclub Restrictions IncreasePolice Commissioner has announced that only South Australian residents from Victoria will be allowed into the state, with further changes to nightclubs and cap on repatriating SA residents announced.