Australia to spend $270bn building larger military to prepare for poorer, more dangerous world

Original article by Jade Macmillan, Andrew Greene
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 1-Jul-20

The federal government will shift the focus of its defence policy to the Indo-Pacific, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison warning of a heightened risk of conflict in the region in the post-coronavirus environment. The government will increase its defence budget by $270bn over the next 10 years. Amongst other things, it is expected to spent about $800m on long-range anti-ship missiles from the US which have a much larger range than Australia’s current generation of missiles. About 800 additional Australian Defence Force members are expected to be recruited over the next decade, while the defence R&D budget will include research into hypersonic weapons.

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AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Regional media to get $50 million lifeline

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 29-Jun-20

News publishers account for 92 of the 107 regional media companies that will receive a combined $50m in emergency relief funding under the federal government’s Public Interest News Gathering program. Some $20m has been allocated to TV broadcasters, publishers will receive $18m in total and radio broadcasters have been allocated $12m. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a sharp fall in advertising revenue for the media sector.

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Qantas job shock sparks airline help

Original article by Phillip Coorey, Lucas Baird
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 26-Jun-20

The federal government is set to provide a coronavirus assistance package for the nation’s airlines in the wake of plans by Qantas to retrench 6,000 employees. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it is clear that the sector will continue to require government assistance when the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme ends in late September. He has flagged the possibility of extending JobKeeper or providing an industry-specific support package. Morrison has previously rejected a request from Virgin Australia to extend the JobKeeper scheme.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH

Tanking arts and entertainment sector to get $250m support package

Original article by Phillip Coorey, Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 25-Jun-20

The federal government will announce details of a $250m coronavirus rescue package for the arts and entertainment sector on 25 June. The package will provide grants and low-interest loans to businesses and cultural institutions in a sector that has been hard-hit by the coronavirus lockdown. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the package will provide financial assistance for all people in the sector, including those who build stage sets and develop computer-generated special effects, rather than just actors and performers.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

JobKeeper cash needed for schools and hospitals

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 2 : 16-Jun-20

Restaurant & Catering Australia CEO Wes Lambert has urged the federal government to retain the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme until at least the end of 2020. However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has argued that retaining coronavirus stimulus measures beyond the scheduled expiration date of late September would result in less funding for essential services such as health and education. The government may introduce stimulus measures that target sectors which have been hardest hit by the economic downturn.

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RESTAURANT AND CATERING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

State delays hold up HomeBuilder grants

Original article by Nila Sweeney
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 33 : 16-Jun-20

Housing Minister and Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar says there is a lot of interest in the federal government’s HomeBuilder scheme. He says there have been more than 296,000 visits to the HomeBuilder website and over 23,000 people have registered their interest in the scheme. However, mortgage brokers claim that they have not yet been able to get any borrower processed under the scheme, as the states have not yet signed up to it. Homeloanexperts.com.au MD Otto Dargan says it is still waiting to hear from the appropriate state government bodies on advice as to how the scheme will work.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, HOMELOANEXPERTS.COM.AU

Asset write-off extension to aid business

Original article by Matthew Cranston, Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 9-Jun-20

The federal government will extend its $150,000 instant asset write-off scheme for another six months. It will be accessible to companies with annual turnover of less than $500 million, which covers more than 3.5 million businesses employing over 9.7 million people. Council of Small Business Organisations CEO Peter Strong says the government has done the right thing by the small business sector in extending the scheme.

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COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

The Government’s HomeBuilder scheme offers $25k for home renovations – but not everyone will qualify

Original article by Jordan Heyne
abc.net au – Page: Online : 5-Jun-20

People wanting to apply for grants of $25,000 to build a new home or renovate an existing one under the federal government’s HomeBuilder scheme must meet a range of criteria. They income thresholds and limits on the value of homes to be newly built, including the land. Contracts for new homes or renovations must be entered into before the end of 2020, and construction must begin within three months of the contract date. People wanting to use the money for a renovation must spend at least $150,000 of their own funds, and the home being renovated must be worth less than $1.5 million prior to the renovation. Investment properties do not qualify for the scheme.

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Near $1bn boost for building kicks off targeted stimulus

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 3-Jun-20

The federal government is expected to release details of its coronavirus stimulus package for the construction industry on 4 June. It is tipped to include cash grants of between $20,000 and $50,000 for people buying a new home, in order to avert a decline in construction activity towards the end of 2020. The government is also expected to provide cash grants for home renovations. A stimulus package for the arts and entertainment is also said to be on the government’s agenda.

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Lowe urges paying subsidies for longer

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 29-May-20

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has reiterated that the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme and the doubling of the JobSeeker allowance are temporary and targeted measures. However, Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe has told a Senate committee hearing that there may be a case for extending some of the coronavirus stimulus measures; he has warned that withdrawing the fiscal stimulus too soon could hinder the economy’s recovery from the pandemic. Lowe also said that recent economic data suggests that the downturn may not be as severe as had been forecast.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA