In a joint statement on 24 March 2019, the QLD Government will spend a further $4 billion to tackle the “unprecedented crisis” that is unfolding with the Coronavirus. The QLD stimulus package will incorporate the following:

Households

In a $300 million package, 2.1 million households will receive $200 applied automatically off their utility bills on top of the $50 asset dividend previously announced (credited to QLD household power bills in 2018 and 2019).

Businesses

Further Payroll Tax Relief

The Government will refund 2 months of payroll tax for all affected businesses (applications must be made before 31 May 2020 apply here)

In addition to this:

1. Employers – Taxable Wages of $6.5 million or less

  • A 3 month payroll tax holiday i.e. no payroll tax to be paid for 3 months
  • Deferral for all payroll tax for 2020 (if you have already applied for the initial deferral, this will automatically apply,  otherwise, apply here)

2. Employers – Taxable Wages of $6.5 million or more

  • Deferral extended for all of 2020 (if you have not already applied, apply here)

Other business support measures include:

  • Relief for businesses renting Government premises
  • $500 rebate on electricity bills for SMEs (that consume less than 100,000 kw hours)
  • Liquor licencing fees waived for businesses impacted by enforced safety shutdowns

Workers and Industry

  • $2.5 billion allocated including $500 million to assist workers who lose their jobs

Federal incentives

Click here to learn more about the Federal stimulus announcements.

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What was announced on 17 March 2020 (Queensland Government’s First Response)

On 17 March 2020, the Queensland Government announced two additional measures to assist Queensland business and the state economy in response to COVID-19 and these rapidly evolving times. The initial QLD stimulus package included:

$500 million concessional loan facility

This will comprise loans of up to $250,000 with an initial 12-month interest free period to support businesses and keep Queenslanders in work. It is expected that the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority will commence rolling out these loans shortly and more information will be available within a few days.

For updated information on this measure please click here.

Payroll tax deferral

The initial 6-month payroll tax deferral for SME’s with an annual Australian wage bill of up to $6.5 million has now been extended to all affected businesses. Payroll tax returns do not have to be lodged or paid before 31 July 2020. The OSR will work with affected businesses to create repayment plans for the deferred tax liabilities.

Further details should be available in coming days.

Other QLD stimulus package measures amounting to $27.25 million previously announced:

Support for tourism operators and hospitality providers

Tourism Operators

  • Registration fees will be waived for 12 months for tourism operators (for fees paid since 1 February 2020) who register a business that sells QLD tourism packages wholesale/retail to overseas purchasers – Government Initiative $24,750
  • Commercial tourism operators will receive the waiver of daily passenger fees which are incurred for each passenger (over 5 years of age) transported to a protected area, including Green Island Recreation Area, for the period 1 February 2020 to 31 July 2020 – Queensland Government Initiative $2,578,788
  • Operators with tourism leases from the Queensland Government will receive a deferral of lease rent payments (until 1 January 2021). For invoices already sent for Q1 2010 that were due on 1 March 2020 will be adjusted to 1 January 2021 – Queensland Government Initiative $64,300
  • Ports North is providing a relief package for relevant tourism operators which includes a 100% rebate on marina fees for existing commercial (tourism) and reef operators from 1 February 2020 and a freeze on Cairns Marlin Marina Schedule of Charges for commercial operators at the Marlin marina until January 2023. Those eligible include:

Marine tourism industry operators

  • Operators using the Cairns Marlin Marina
  • Land-side retail/food and beverage businesses
  • Tourism operators who access Green Island – Queensland Government Initiative $3.05 million

Hospitality

  • All liquor licensees will have their fees waived for application to change trading hours or the area to which the licence operates (for those who have paid the application fee since 1 February 2020). The fee waiver will apply until 31 July 2020 – Queensland Government Initiative $95,828

Support for fisheries

The fishery area for the tropical rock lobster fishery will be expanded for 3 months to reduce operating costs for quota holders. Other assistance includes:

  • Waive fishing boat licence fees and quota fees
  • Market Diversification and Resilience Grants Program
  • Small business financial resilience workshops
  • Business mentoring for small business

Support for international education and training sector

  • Student counselling and support ($1 million) for 12 months
    • Study Queensland and its partners will increase the availability of student support and welfare services
    • Additional counselling services in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and cairns student hubs to provide more support staff and case managers
  • A pop-up student hub to be opened in Brisbane
  • International education and training marketing campaign ($2 million)
    • Ensuring students are aware of services, events and experience opportunities
    • Promote Queensland as an education and training destination for all students

Business support programs

  • Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) will strengthen Queensland’s export brand in China by running a new e-commerce initiative to fast track a cohort of exporters to enter the Chinese marketplace
  • TIQ will provide tailored advice to exporters and sectors around international export options and provide funding support for exporters looking to enter new markets to finalise an export deal, based on:
    • Market intelligence
    • Expert advice
    • Go Global Grants ($5,000 to $25,000 – Round 2 from 29 February to 17 April 2020 and Round 3 from 18 April 2020 to 29 May 2020)

It is likely additional measures will be announced in the future as the coronavirus crisis continues to change almost daily and governments continue look to assist business and jobs.