The impacts of the Covid virus on our economy have been enormous and we will be dealing with its effects for years, however, an international reality check will show just how well we have managed this crisis in Australia. If it were not for Victoria, which has clearly made some appalling errors, we would be in an even better position. Victoria is home to 25% of the Australian population and yet it has accounted for 74% of the Covid cases and 90% of the deaths and their latest wave has put the national economic recovery back by months. Having said that, it is fantastic they now seem to be making serious steps in getting infection rates under control, and now with our borders open to every other state in Australia I look forward to the day when we can do the same with Victoria.
In previous E-news updates I have touched on the extension of the JobKeeper and JobSeeker Programs. New rates for these Covid assistance measures come into effect at the end of this week. Many business owners informed me that JobKeeper saved their business but now they expect to be able to successfully gradually transition out of it. Business owners have also told me that due to the assistance measures some have struggled to source staff, it is my hope that through this transition period people will have less difficulty getting people back to work.
Restrictions have changed and continue to change, please see below for the latest update on:
- Current SA restrictions
- NSW and ACT travel quarantine lifted
- Business Events Grants Program
- Headspace Port Lincoln officially opens
- Energy opportunities for the Upper Spencer Gulf
- Grant applications open for Ag. Shows and Field Days assistance package
- Smart Farms Grants open
- Current SA restrictions update
The Premier outlined a small number of updates on 4 September.
Wedding and Funerals
The maximum number of attendees permitted at a wedding or funeral is 150 people, providing the density requirements of 1 person per 2 square metres is adhered to.
The cap of 150 persons applies regardless of the venue (such as a hotel or other entertainment premises) at which a wedding, funeral or wake is held.
If the service includes any food or beverages or provision of a liquid or edible items, shared utensils are not to be used.
People are strongly encouraged to practice physical distancing of 1.5 metres wherever and whenever possible.
Bridal dance – the persons being wed at a wedding ceremony, reception or event are permitted to undertake one dance at the wedding ceremony or reception or event conducted at a relevant licensed premises.
There needs to be a record kept of attendees at a wedding or a funeral.
Food and beverages are now able to be consumed at a bar providing that there is no food preparation at/or adjacent to the bar.
If there is food preparation at/or adjacent to the bar, food and beverages are only able to be consumed by patrons while seated at tables that are physically separate from the bar area.
This link at SA.gov.au provides a range of answers to frequently asked questions. The graphic below also gives an update of working from home and AFL crowds at Adelaide Oval.
- NSW & ACT travellers can now enter SA without quarantining
It was announced this week that as of today people visiting SA or returning home from NSW will not have to self-quarantine for 14 days. This follows the announcement last week that people coming to SA via air from ACT would also not have to self-quarantine.
If people arrived in SA from NSW prior to the border officially opening then they do need to complete their 14 days of isolation here in SA.
If you are travelling into South Australia, by road or via the Adelaide airport, from any State or Territory, you need to complete the cross border pre-approval form.
- Business Events Grants Program
Thousands of jobs across the tourism and hospitality industry will be backed through a $50 million injection to help restart Australia’s vital business events sector.
Businesses will be encouraged to attend events, trade shows and conferences within Australia through grants to help cover the costs associated with exhibiting such as the hire of exhibition spaces, the design and manufacture of displays, travel and accommodation.
Australia’s lucrative $36 billion business events sector had virtually ground to a halt during the COVID-19 crisis and getting business events up and running again will be a critical part of the recovery of our tourism industry, but will also have huge flow-on effects through the entire economy.
Under the Business Events Exhibitor Grants program, Australian businesses exhibiting at an approved business meeting, convention, conference and incentives event in 2021 will be able to apply for upfront grants to cover up to 50 per cent of their costs ($10,000 – $250,000). This initiative is part of the Government’s $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund, which is supporting regions, communities and industry sectors severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information visit the AusTrade website
- Headspace Port Lincoln is open!
It was a great pleasure to be able to officially launch the new Port Lincoln headspace a couple of weeks ago.
I have been campaigning for this facility for some time and the four year, $1.5 million investment from the Federal Government has delivered the project.
The headspace unit is up and running providing support to young people in Port Lincoln and surrounding regions.
There are 110 headspace units in Australia now, four of them in Grey including the flying headspace out of Port Augusta. It’s a very good result and one that I intend to build on.
- Exciting opportunities for the Upper Spencer Gulf to become a world leader in emission reduction
Tuesday’s detailing of a new national $18 billion technology roadmap by Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor at the National Press Club, provides an enormous opportunity for Whyalla to develop Australia’s first green steel production.
The Upper Spencer Gulf region is in an ideal position to locate a “hydrogen hub” and in turn use that capacity to produce green steel (steel manufactured using hydrogen produced from renewable energy to replace coking coal in the smelting process).
The National Plan prioritises five key technologies, two of which are hydrogen and low carbon steel and aluminium.
The Federal Government has allocated $18 billion over the next 10 years to invest in developing projects and I expect we will be able to access some of that capital and play a very significant role in achieving our national target.
GFG Alliance’s Sanjeev Gupta has flagged his intention to make the Whyalla steelworks an internationally competitive “green steel” hub as part of his transformation of the steel works.
South Australia already boasts the largest wind and solar generation capacity in the nation with investment and construction continuing at pace. With any amount of possible new sites, it strongly demonstrates our suitability for the establishment as a “hydrogen hub.”
In Whyalla with the adjacent deep sea port at Point Lowly, already exporting liquified petroleum products, surrounded by renewable electricity, a steel plant which has a ready supply of local magnetite and an owner expressing intent to take the plant in this direction, it offers an enormously attractive package.
- Field Days and Ag Show Funding Program now OPEN
The Australian Government’s $39 million Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Program application process is now open for COVID-19 hit show societies and field day organisers.
The program provides operational support for agricultural show societies and organisers of agricultural field days forced to cancel their scheduled show or field day in 2020 because of COVID-19 and those who are eligible will not have to compete for assistance.
Local agricultural show societies and field day organisers have only until 9 October 2020 to apply under the first funding round so I encourage eligible local show societies and field day organisers to apply as soon as possible.
Funds will be reimbursed for eligible expenses, with the maximum grant value based upon the size of the event:
- up to $10,000 for small shows/field days (attendance was less than 2,000)
- up to $15,000 for medium shows/field days (attendance was between 2,000 and 4,999)
- up to $70,000 for large shows/field days (attendance was over 5,000).
- Smart Farms Small Grants program
I encourage farmers, fishers and foresters with clever, sustainable agriculture ideas to apply for grants of $5000 up to $50,000 under Round 4 of the Smart Farms Small Grants Program.
Projects funded under earlier rounds included new soil acidity management techniques; virtual fencing to protect riparian habitat; improved orchard pollination and bee health using drone technology, as well as mentoring activities connecting farmers and students.
Up to $6.5 million will be provided under Round 4.
For more information and to apply, visit the Community Grants Hub.
Reminder of Key Resources
Federal Government updates – www.australia.gov.au
This website is regularly updated to give you the latest Coronavirus news, updates and advice from government agencies across Australia.
Economic Assistance – www.treasury.gov.au
All the fact sheets on individual and business economic assistance measures are available here.
Business Support – www.business.gov.au or call 13 28 46
Find financial assistance, eligibility and timing for government support for Australian businesses.
If you have any feedback or questions please don’t hesitate to reply to this email or give one of my offices a call on the phone numbers listed below. I always welcome residents’ feedback.
Rowan Ramsey MP
Federal Member for Grey