While many people are glued to the television every night to catch up on the latest pandemic updates, it should be gratifying for our industry that many watching the news would have seen public appreciation of truckies by government on their screens.
In his daily update earlier in the week, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Paul Kelly took time to thank truck drivers working through Easter for their efforts during the crisis around Covid-19.
This level of acknowledgement of the importance of trucking to the country and to the functioning of the economy and keeping the supermarkets and pharmacies fully stocked is something the trucking industry has needed for some time.
Paul also talked about the issues around truck drivers getting access to facilities in truck stops and how they now have access, where it had been denied.
It should be gratifying fo the trucking industry to hear this kind of public appreciation of truckies by government in such a public arena. The trucking industry is just doing its bit to keep the country moving, but it is good to feel appreciated.
There is also ongoing government support for business in the wake of this virus
The Australian Government assistance package includes:
- the JobKeeper Payment, which will provide businesses significantly affected by the epidemic with $1,500 per fortnight per employee for up to six months
- a cashflow boost of up to $100,000 with a minimum payment of $20,000 for businesses that employ staff. Businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million will be eligible
- an expanded JobSeeker Payment with a new coronavirus supplement. Eligible owner drivers will be able to receive this payment
- a new CoronavirusSMEGuarantee Scheme: a government guarantee for small and medium business loans. The loans will be interest free for the six months and will be for a maximum of $250,000 over three years. The Government will guarantee 50 per cent of each loan
- an increase in the instant asset write-off threshold from $50,000 to $150,000, with access expanded to include businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million). The increased threshold is available till 30 June2020
- an additional 50 per cent investment allowance for eligible assets, including new trucks and trailers. The allowance will be available till 30 June2021.