PM UPDATE: Commercial Tenancy Lease Reduction Introduced, COVID-19 Modelling Released, Curve Is Flattening & More Key Points

Australia’s COVID-19 curve is flattening but the Prime Minister has urged the nation must be vigilant, particularly this Easter long weekend.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has addressed the nation after the conclusion of the most recent National Cabinet Meeting.

Key Points:

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.

Schools Update

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.

COVID-19 Modelling

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.


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