Cabinet Speech – Sunday 22 March 2020

The Cabinet met again on Sunday 22 March 2020 to announce a further stimulus package along with changes to regulation of corporations under the Corporations Act.

Proposed changes to the Corporations Act will seek to loosen regulation of the insolvency laws. Key changes being:
● The response time for Statutory Demands is to be extended from 21 days to 6 months
● The minimum for corporate insolvency to be raised from $2,000 to $20,000
● The response time for answering a bankruptcy notice will be extended 6 months
● The minimum threshold for personal bankruptcy to be raised from $5,000 to $20,000
● Temporary relief from directors’ personal liability for trading while insolvent
● Treasurer to have an instrument-making power, meaning the Treasurer can make ad hoc decisions on a case by case basis to provide relief to distress corporations

For more details, see the linked Fact Sheet published by the Treasury.

A large economic stimulus package has been announced which allows for those most effected by the effects of COVID-19 to access monies they otherwise may not have been able to. This includes:
● Early access to up to $10,000 of Superannuation entitlement. This is likely to be made available to those who have lost their jobs, SMEs and sole traders.
● Additional monies for Jobseekers through government benefits
● Interest free loans for businesses

For more detail, see the linked Fact Sheet published by the Treasury.

PM Scott Morrison pleaded with Australians to cut off all non-essential travel. He defined essential travel as ‘travel that is essential to your daily life’. This includes travel for work purposes, health purposes and normal daily activities such as shopping for food. There are no strict enforceable measures restricting travel within Australia on a Federal level yet. The Cabinet are simply asking Australians to be pragmatic and understanding that it is not just themselves that they must consider, but also those who they may come into contact with that we also must be mindful of.

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