Landmark PBS listing for Australians with cystic fibrosis

Australians with cystic fibrosis in Bonner will soon have access to a new treatment following the listing of Trikafta® on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

From April 1, Trikafta® (elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor and ivacaftor) will be available on the PBS for the first time for Australians with cystic fibrosis aged 12 years and older, who have at least one F508del mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. F508del is the most common mutation.

In Australia, one in 2,500 babies are born with cystic fibrosis and there is currently no cure.

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections. The condition is caused by genetic defects that limit the flow of chloride and water through cell membranes, resulting in a thick, sticky build-up of mucus in the lungs, pancreas, and other organs and over time limits the ability to breathe and makes it easier for germs to grow.

Trikafta® works by improving the flow of chloride and water in patients who have a certain genetic defect and helps improve lung function and breathing.

The median life expectancy for Australians with cystic fibrosis is 47 years. Tragically, this is significantly lower than the average Australian.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the listing of Trikafta® on the PBS would be welcome news to those in my local community with CF and their families.

“This is a game changer for Australians with CF in Bonner and their families,” Mr Vasta said.

“Access to Trikafta® has been out of reach for most of the population with CF, but this listing will ensure more Australians can get the treatment they need, without huge out of pocket costs.

“This just demonstrates our Government’s continued commitment to ensuring Australians can access the medicines and treatments they need, no matter where they live.”

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the listing of Trikafta® would be life changing for many Australians with cystic fibrosis and their families.

“Without PBS subsidy, around 1,900 Australians would pay more than $250,000 a year for access to Trikafta®,” Minister Hunt said.

“This treatment is out of reach for most Australians, and now that it will be available on the PBS, patients will only pay a maximum of $42.50 per script, or as little as $6.80 with a concession card.

“I am so proud that one of the final treatments listed on the PBS under my watch as Minister for Health is Trikafta®. This listing will make access to treatment within reach for thousands of Australians with CF each year.”

Since 2013, the Coalition Government has approved more than 2,800 new and amended listings on the PBS. This is at an overall investment by Government of $15 billion.

The Morrison Government’s commitment to ensuring Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.

This is a stark contrast to Mr Albanese and Labor, who when last in Government stopped listing essential medicines and treatments on the PBS.

This PBS listing has been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

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Bonner General Practices join the Phase 1B COVID-19 vaccine rollout

More than 1000 General Practices (GPs), including several in Bonner will join the COVID-19 vaccination program from next week, further strengthening the Commonwealth’s capacity, and ensuring an efficient and equitable distribution of vaccines across the country.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said services would come online from March 22.

“We all know the invaluable work our local GP’s do for our community,” Mr Vasta said.

“Now we will see them play a vital role the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

“Phase 1B of the rollout will see 1000 GP’s across Australia delivering COVID-19 vaccines for our elderly and immunocompromised, progressively increasing in number to more than 4000 by the end of April.”

Initial GP clinics in Bonner offering the COVID-19 vaccine include:

  • Baywest Medical Centre, Wynnum West
  • Carina Medical and Specialist Centre, Carina
  • Wynnum Medical Centre, Tingalpa
  • Manly Clinic, Wynnum
  • Manly Village Medical, Manly
  • Mansfield Family Practice, Mansfield
  • Tyack Health, Manly West
  • Carindale Medical Clinic, Carindale
  • Eight Mile Plains Doctors, Eight Mile Plains

Mr Vasta said Australians eligible for Phase 1B could find a vaccination provider through the new national vaccination information and location service, at the Department of Health website.

“This will enable people to locate their nearest general practice providing General Practice Respiratory Clinic vaccinations and link through to their online booking system or phone number to make the appointment” Mr Vasta said.

“Vaccines are the game changer in our fight against the COVID-19 virus and I urge everyone in Australia to come forward and get vaccinated when they are able to. It will protect themselves, their family, and their community.”

In making the announcement, Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt MP said the rollout would continue to grow in coming weeks.

“This staged scale up will align with the supply of the locally produced AstraZeneca vaccine, and as more vaccine becomes available more services will come online,” Minister Hunt said.

“General practices will play a major role in ensuring all Australians who seek to be vaccinated have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.

“We are committed to making sure that every Australian that wants a vaccine will be able to be vaccinated,” Minister Hunt said.

Phase 1B includes vulnerable groups, such as older people and people with certain underlying medical conditions. No-one is better placed to support these people than our general practices.

Over 100 Aboriginal Health Services and 130 Commonwealth operated GP-led Respiratory Clinics, who have been instrumental partners in the COVID-19 response to date will also be progressively added as additional vaccine providers.

Appointments on the service finder will increase as general practices establish their systems and vaccine supply. More appointments will become available as more clinics come on-board.

People will still be able to book their vaccine appointments directly at a participating general practice – as they do now, for instance, to get a seasonal flu vaccine.

As the rollout moves into Phase two, additional general practices and selected community pharmacists will also participate in the program. No-one will miss out, whether they live in a city or country town or a very remote area.

There will be six million Australians in Phase 1B, and not all will be able to be vaccinated immediately. We recognise that every Australian will have the opportunity to be vaccinated over the coming months and we thank every Australian for their patience.


Where do I go and how do I book in?

Go to Department of Health website. Using the Eligibility Checker, you can find out which phase of the rollout you are in. If you are eligible, you will be able to view vaccination clinics and book an appointment online or via phone. If you are not yet eligible, you will be able to register your interest so that you can be notified when you are able to book.

If you prefer not to use the online option, you can call the National Coronavirus and COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline on 1800 020 080.

Will I be able to choose where I can book?

You will be able to view and select clinic locations based on the postcode you enter.

What happens if there are no clinics or appointments in my area?

A list of Commonwealth vaccination clinics, participating General Practices, and state and territory vaccination clinics will be made available as they come online.

Do I have to use the Eligibility Checker in order to book?

The checker is a helpful tool to help you find out if you are currently eligible to book.

The checker will guide you through to a simple way to find and book vaccine appointments, or help you register to be notified if you are part of a later phase. If you prefer to book appointments directly at a participating general practice or Commonwealth state vaccination clinic, you can contact them directly to do so.

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Stay connected at local events during Veterans’ Health Week

VETERANS and their families in Bonner can get socially connected this Veterans’ Health Week, with local events running from Saturday, October 24 to Sunday, November 1 2020.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said almost 400 events across Australia would be run by ex-service organisations and other local veterans’ groups, both in person and virtually, to support their veteran community with creative social activities within their local restrictions.

“There’s a number of local happening in Brisbane and surrounding regions and I encourage our local veteran community to join in and help raise awareness of staying socially connected,” Mr Vasta said.

“Practicing social connection, not just in Veterans’ Health Week, is a great way to embed healthy habits into our weekly routines to help improve our overall mental health and wellbeing.

“Manly-Lota RSL sub-branch will be hosting a BBQ meet and greet this Sunday from 10am-3pm and it’s open to all veterans and their families.

“I commend all of the ex-service organisations and other veteran groups in our community who have organised events for Veterans’ Health Week this year.”

Veterans’ Health Week events being hosted around Australia over the next couple of weeks include physical activity challenges, mental health activities, workshops, skill building opportunities, a record number of online virtual events and lots of chances to make new connections and renew old ones.

For more information on attending a Veterans’ Health Week event, visit the Veterans’ Health Week page on the DVA website.

You can also call 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) or email

Attendees and event organisers must be aware of local state or territory coronavirus restrictions in place and ensure their event is following all coronavirus guidelines.

A full list of events in  can be found on the DVA website.

Manly-Lota RSL sub-branch is located at 184 Melville Tce, Manly

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New medicines on the PBS for Australians with MS and cancer

From 1 November the Morrison Government will invest more than $86 million over the next four years to provide greater access to life saving medicines for Australians living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and various forms of cancer.

MS is the most commonly acquired neurological disease in younger adults with over 25,600 Australians living with MS and over 2.3 million people affected globally.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt MP said the average age of diagnosis was only 30 and around 75 per cent of those affected with MS in Australia were female.

“There is a high clinical need for effective treatments for patients with progressive forms of relapse onset multiple sclerosis,” Minister Hunt said.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said Mayzent® (siponimod) would be listed on the PBS for the first time to treat those patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.

“Without PBS subsidy, these patients would pay more than $25,000 per year for treatment with approximately 800 patients benefiting from this listing each year,” Mr Vasta said.

“The PBS subsidy now means patients will only need to pay $41 per prescription, or $6.60 with a concession card.”

In addition to this listing, Australians diagnosed with a rare type of lymphoma which affects the skin will receive subsidised access to a new medication and specialised treatment from 1 November 2020, through an investment of over $11.5 million.

Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that affects the skin and causes an accumulation of malignant T-cells in the skin, resulting in raised, rash-like or itchy patches of skin, skin lumps or ulcers and swollen lymph nodes.

Mr Vasta said Uvadex® (methoxsalen) would be listed on the PBS for the first time for treatment of patients with erythrodermic cutaneous T-cell lymphoma who have not responded to other treatments.

“Around 75 patients per year may benefit from this listing and without this PBS subsidy, these Australians would pay more than $3400 per year,” Mr Vasta said.

Other PBS listings from 1 November ­– announced in the Budget 2020-21 – include the expanded listing of:

  • Tecentriq® and Avastin® (atezolizumab and bevacizumab) for use in combination to treat patients with advanced unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of primary liver cancer. An average of 500 patients per year may benefit from this. They would normally pay up to $170,000 for a course of treatment without PBS subsidy;
  • Lynparza® (olaparib) for the treatment of newly diagnosed advanced high grade epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancers. An average of 300 patients per year may benefit from this listing and would normally pay around $140,500 per course of treatment for this medicine.

These PBS listings have been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

Since 2013, the Australian Government has approved over 2,450 new or amended listings on the PBS.

This represents an average of around 30 listings or amendments per month – or one each day – at an overall investment by the Government of $11.8 billion.

The Morrison Government’s commitment to ensuring that Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.

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Register to be an organ and tissue donor this DonateLife Week

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP is encouraging everyone in Bonner to register as an organ and tissue donor and encourage others to also sign up DonateLife Week 2020.

DonateLife Week is Australia’s national awareness week dedicated to promoting organ and tissue donation.

Held from July 26 to August 2, DonateLife Week encourages all Australians to register to be an organ and tissue donor at to have the opportunity to one day change lives.

“An organ transplant doesn’t just save lives, it gives families back their mother, father, sibling, or child,” Mr Vasta said.

“Registering to be a donor online is easy and takes less than a minute.”

Traditionally, DonateLife Week is celebrated with community events across Australia, however with social distancing restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, an enhanced digital campaign will be run this year.

The campaign will feature the stories of donor families, recipients and others touched by organ and tissue donation to demonstrate the huge impact being a donor can have on fellow Australians.

“With 1700 Australians currently wait listed for a transplant, and a further 12,000 on dialysis, we can do more to save lives and make a difference,” Mr Vasta said.

“I encourage everyone to throw their support behind this campaign and talk to your friends, family, colleagues and sporting or community group about registering as an organ and tissue donor.”

You can show your support online by sharing information about donation through social media using the campaign hashtag #DonateLifeWeek and following @DonateLife on Facebook and Instagram.

Thank you to all donors and their families who have generously consented to organ or tissue donation. Visit for more information and to register as an organ donor.

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More essential support for patients through community pharmacy

Australians will have better access to subsidised medicines and medication management services through community pharmacy with the Morrison Government finalising a seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement (7CPA).

Under this landmark agreement, the government will continue to partner with community pharmacy to ensure Australians have access to more than 200 million subsidised Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescriptions each year through their community pharmacy of choice.

Medicine safety will be a key focus of the 7CPA with the Morrison Government increasing its investment in medication management services and programs to $1.2 billion over five years, which is an additional $100 million investment compared to actual expenditure in the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt MP said elderly Australians, people with chronic conditions and Australians on concession cards would benefit from this increased investment through simplified and improved Community Pharmacy medication management, and adherence programs, such as dose administration aids and medicine checks.

“There will also be greater support for regional, rural and remote pharmacies to deliver community pharmacy services with reforms to the Rural Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance to adopt the Modified Monash Model for rural classification,” Minister Hunt said.

“Our Government will also implement reforms to improve access to medicines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by expanding the number of people eligible for the Closing the Gap PBS Co-payment measure.”

This program provides free or lower cost medicines to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who have, or at risk of, chronic disease.

There will be greater transparency for consumers on the cost of their medicines, and the government will reduce the level of discretionary fees that can to be charged on medicines priced below the general patient co-payment.

Consumers will continue to have access to cheaper medicines through the continuation of the optional $1 discount on PBS co-payments.

The Morrison Government will also work to support the adoption of a nationally consistent approach to vaccinations available through community pharmacies.

The 7CPA signed by the Commonwealth, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and for the first time the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, will commence on July 1, 2020 and be in place until June 30, 2025.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the 7CPA demonstrated the Morrison Government’s ongoing support for patients and community pharmacy.

“This agreement acknowledges the role Australia’s community pharmacies have played and continue to play in our government’s efforts to improve the health of all Australians,” Mr Vasta said.

“Community pharmacies have played a central role in supporting their community during the recent bushfires and have kept their doors open to support patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Remuneration for the dispensing of subsidised PBS medicines, community pharmacy medication management programs and services, is expected to be $18.3 billion over the five years of the agreement.

The Morrison Government will provide greater funding predictability for the dispensing of PBS medicines by community pharmacies through structural reforms to dispensing remuneration, and risk sharing arrangements to ensure Australians continue to have timely access to safe and affordable medicines for the next five years.

Reforms to pharmaceutical wholesaling and the Community Service Obligation Funding Pool arrangements will ensure pharmaceutical wholesalers can continue to support community pharmacies in providing equitable and timely access to medicines for all Australians, particularly those living outside our major cities.

The Morrison Government continues to make more medicines available for patients through the PBS. Since 2013, our Government has approved more than 2,400 new or amended medicine listings on the PBS.

This represents an average of around 30 medicine listings or amendments per month – or one each day – at an overall investment by the Government of $11.6 billion.

Taken together, the measures agreed as part of the 7CPA underscore the Morrison Government’s rock solid commitment to ensuring that Australians can access essential, affordable medicines and community pharmacy services, when and where they need them.

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Commonwealth and States sign five-year $131 billion hospital agreement

Public hospitals across the country will have record funding for the next five years after all states and territories signed onto the Morrison Government’s new health reform agreement.

This record funding agreement will deliver more doctors, more nurses and more services across public hospitals in every state and territory.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the funding commitment would ensure the Australian health system remained stable and nationally coordinated, particularly throughout this unprecedented time.

“Overall, the Commonwealth will invest an estimated $131.4 billion in demand driven public hospital funding to improve health outcomes for all Australians and ensure the sustainability of our health system now and into the future,” Mr Vasta said.

The new 2020‑25 National Health Reform Agreement provides an estimated $31.4 billion in additional funding to public hospitals over five years from 2020–21. This is in addition to the over $8 billion health investment by the Commonwealth during the COVID-19 response.

As part of the new Agreement, the Morrison Government has provided a funding guarantee to all states and territories to ensure no jurisdiction is left worse off as a result of the COVID‑19 pandemic, and guarantees the Commonwealth’s funding contribution for public hospitals over the next five years.

This guarantee is critical to ensuring state and territory governments can continue to deliver safe and effective public hospital services for all Australians, especially when all Australian governments are working to respond to the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Under this Agreement, a small number of very sick children across Australia will receive lifesaving, high cost therapies such as immunotherapy, to reduce and rid cancer from their body, free of charge.

Commonwealth and states have agreed to jointly fund this cancer treatment. Without this support patients could pay around $500,000 per treatment for cancer immunotherapy.

States are also funded to deliver more flexible care, including hospital care in the home, to give patients care where and when they need it.

This will include rehabilitation after a stroke in the home. This provides better long term outcomes for patients. It will help many Australians with approximately 50,000 strokes occurring per year.

This agreement also builds on the collaboration between the Commonwealth and the states in responding to COVID-19.

New funding arrangements under the Agreement mean people with some of the rarest conditions will have better access to new innovative life-saving high-cost therapies in public hospitals around the country.

Importantly, the Agreement strengthens all governments’ commitment to ensuring equitable access to public hospitals for all Australians by removing incentives that can lead to the preferential treatment of private patients.

The new Agreement also includes a commitment by all Australian governments to a shared long-term vision for health reform, at a time when shared investment and coordination in health has never been more important.

The reforms aim to make it easier to provide flexible, high-quality care that meets the needs and preferences of Australians, and reduces pressure on hospitals.

Through this Agreement, we will ensure Australia’s health system continues to be one of the best in the world, delivering the best possible health outcomes for Australians.

State and territory funding breakdown

  • The Australian Government funding contribution for public hospital services in New South Wales is estimated to grow substantially to an estimated $40.1 billion over the next five years, delivering an additional $9.3 billion in funding.
  • The Australian Government funding contribution for public hospital services in Victoria is estimated to grow substantially to an estimated $32.4 billion over the next five years, delivering an additional $7.3 billion in funding.
  • The Australian Government funding contribution for public hospital services in Queensland is estimated to grow substantially to an estimated $30.1 billion under the new agreement, delivering an additional $8.4 billion in funding.
  • The Australian Government funding contribution for public hospital services in Western Australia is estimated to grow substantially to an estimated $14.1 billion over the next five years, delivering an additional $3.4 billion in funding.
  • The Australian Government funding contribution for public hospital services in South Australia is estimated to grow substantially to an estimated $7.8 billion, delivering an additional $1.3 billion in funding.
  • The Australian Government funding contribution for public hospital services in Tasmania is estimated to grow substantially to an estimated $2.4 billion under the new agreement, delivering an additional $400 million in funding.
  • The Australian Government funding contribution for public hospital services in the Northern Territory is estimated to grow substantially to an estimated $2.0 billion over five years to 2024-25, delivering an additional $707 million in funding.

The Australian Government funding contribution for public hospital services in the Australian Capital Territory is estimated to grow substantially to $2.5 billion in funding, delivering an additional $598 million in funding.

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Funding boost for endometriosis research

The Morrison Government is continuing its support for women and girls with endometriosis by investing over $9.5 million into five innovative research projects as part of its Medical Research
Future Fund’s Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research Initiative.

Endometriosis is a common yet frequently under-recognised chronic disease affecting one in every ten Australian women with the average diagnosis taking between seven to ten years.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the funding boost was just another way the Morrison Government showed it support for women.

“These projects will lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis and a better understanding of its causes,” Mr Vasta said.

“It is a highly individualised disease, with its symptoms and impact ranging significantly from person to person, including severe chronic pain and in some cases, compromised fertility and sexual function.

“The Government is profoundly committed to tackling this often misunderstood and crippling condition.”

Research projects to receive funding include:

Administering institution Project Total grant value (GST exclusive)
The University of Queensland Genetic variants, early life exposures, and longitudinal endometriosis symptoms study (GELLES).


Deakin University A randomised controlled trial comparing yoga, cognitive behaviour therapy and education to improve quality of life and reduce health care costs in endometriosis. $893,981.25
Monash University Creating an evidence base for clinical care: A randomised controlled study examining the efficacy of the low FODMAP diet for the relief of gastrointestinal symptoms in endometriosis. $948,619.20


Murdoch Children’s Research Institute Long STEPPP-A: Longitudinal study of teenagers with endometriosis, period and pelvic pain in Australia to identify early risk factors, educational and management strategies that will lead to optimal health outcomes and appropriate health utilisation.      $1,963,118.00


University of Melbourne Improving diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis.      $3,929,233.50
Total        $9,591,491.95


These research projects will contribute to a greater understanding of endometriosis for the benefit of women and their loved ones across Australia.

Further information is available at

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COVIDsafe App launch

The new COVIDsafe app to help keep you, your family and your community safe from further spread of coronavirus through early notification of possible exposure is now available to download.

The COVIDSafe app is just one of the tools used to help protect the health of the community by quickly alerting people who may be at risk of having contact with the virus.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the use of the app would help to move more quickly to reduce restrictions than would otherwise be possible.

“Without the assistance of technology, finding people who may have been exposed to the virus relies on people being able to recall who they have been around and knowing the details of every individual they have been in close contact with,” Mr Vasta said.

“In many cases, we don’t know the names and contact details of those we’ve been in close contact with – for example, at the supermarket or on the train.

“The COVIDSafe app uses technology to make this process faster and more accurate and has been developed to ensure your information and privacy is strictly protected.”

Collection and use of information from the app is consent based and consistent with the Privacy Act and Australian Privacy Principles.

To further strengthen the app’s privacy arrangements the Health Minister made a Determination under the Biosecurity Act to protect people’s privacy and restrict access to app data to state and territory health authorities for contact tracing.

Under that Determination, it will be a criminal offence to use any app data in any other way. It will also be a criminal offence for someone to be refused to enter a premises, participate in an event or receive a service for failing to use the app.

At the end of the Australian pandemic, users will be prompted to delete the app from their phone.

This will delete all app information on a person’s phone. The information contained on the highly secure information storage system will also be destroyed at the end of the pandemic.

While COVIDSafe app use is voluntary, all Australians are encouraged to download COVIDSafe app to help ensure we can effectively protect Australians and ensure we can quickly respond to any new cases of COVID-19.

For more information on the COVIDSafe app, please visit:

To download the COVIDSafe app for your iPhone please visit:

To download the COVIDSafe app for your android device please visit:

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Economic Stimulus Package

As the world deals with the significant challenges posed by the spread of Coronavirus, the Morrison Government has announced a $17.6 billion economic plan to keep Australians in jobs, keep businesses in business, support households and the Australian economy.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said he welcomed the targeted stimulus package which would help protect the wellbeing and livelihoods of all Australians.

“Our targeted stimulus package is focused on keeping Australians in jobs and helping small and medium sized businesses to stay in business, especially here in Bonner,” Mr Vasta said.

The package has four parts:

  • Supporting business investment
  • Providing cash flow assistance to help small and medium sized business to stay in business and keep their employees in jobs
  • Targeted support for the most severely affected sectors, regions and communities;
  • Household stimulus payments that will benefit the wider economy

The measures are all temporary, targeted and proportionate to the challenge we face.

Our actions will ensure we respond to the immediate challenges we face and help Australia bounce back stronger on the other side, without undermining the structural integrity of the Budget.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said as part of the plan, up to 6.5 million individuals and 3.5 million businesses would be directly supported by the package.

“Just as we have acted decisively to protect the health of the Australian people, based on the best evidence and medical advice, our support package responds to the economic challenges presented by this pandemic in a timely, proportionate and targeted way,” the Prime Minister said.

“Our plan will back Australian households with a stimulus payment to boost growth, bolster domestic confidence and consumption, reduce cash flow pressures for businesses and support new investments to lift productivity.

“Australia is not immune to the global coronavirus challenge but we have already taken steps to prepare for this looming international economic crisis.”

Mr Vasta said the Morrison Government had balanced the budget and managed our economy so we could now use this to protect the health, wellbeing and livelihoods of Australians.

Additional Information:

Delivering support for business investment

  • $700 million to increase the instant asset write off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expand access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020. For example, assets that may be able to be immediately written off are a concrete tank for a builder, a tractor for a farming business, and a truck for a delivery business.
  • $3.2 billion to back business investment by providing a time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct an additional 50 per cent of the asset cost in the year of purchase.
  • These measures start immediately and will support over 3.5 million businesses (over 99 per cent of businesses) employing more than 9.7 million employees or 3 in every 4 workers. The measures are designed to support business sticking with investment they had planned, and encouraging them to bring investment forward to support economic growth over the short term.

Cash flow assistance for businesses

  • $6.7 billion to Boost Cash Flow for Employers by up to $25,000 with a minimum payment of $2,000 for eligible small and medium-sized businesses. The payment will provide cash flow support to businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million that employ staff, between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020. The payment will be tax free. This measure will benefit around 690,000 businesses employing around 7.8 million people. Businesses will receive payments of 50 per cent of their Business Activity Statements or Instalment Activity Statement from 28 April with refunds to then be paid within 14 days.
  • $1.3 billion to support small businesses to support the jobs of around 120,000 apprentices and trainees. Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for up to 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice.

Stimulus payments to households to support growth

  • $4.8 billion to provide a one-off $750 stimulus payment to pensioners, social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. Around half of those that will benefit are pensioners. The payment will be tax free and will not count as income for Social Security, Farm Household Allowance and Veteran payments. There will be one payment per eligible recipient. If a person qualifies for the one off payment in multiple ways, they will only receive one payment.
  • Payments will be from 31 March 2020 on a progressive basis, with over 90 per cent of payments expected to be made by mid-April.

 Assistance for severely-affected regions

  • $1 billion to support those sectors, regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the Coronavirus, including those heavily reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education. This will include the waiver of fees and charges for tourism businesses that operate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Commonwealth National Parks. It will also include additional assistance to help businesses identify alternative export markets or supply chains. Targeted measures will also be developed to further promote domestic tourism. Further plans and measures to support recovery will be designed and delivered in partnership with the affected industries and communities.
  • The Government is also offering administrative relief for certain tax obligations, including deferring tax payments up to four months. This is similar to relief provided following the bushfires for taxpayers affected by the coronavirus, on a case-by-case basis. The ATO will set up a temporary shop front in Cairns within the next few weeks with dedicated staff specialising in assisting small business. In addition, the ATO will consider ways to enhance its presence in other significantly affected regions to make it easier for people to apply for relief, including considering further temporary shop fronts and face-to-face options.

The Government’s economic support package is proportionate, timely and scalable to respond to the economic challenges presented by the spread of the coronavirus.

Through our response and the actions we have taken to bring the Budget back to balance over the last six and a half years, Australians can be confident that our nation is one of the best prepared to respond to the economic impacts of the coronavirus.

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