National Cabinet endorse JobKeeper Payments

The Australian Governments’ National Cabinet strongly endorsed the Commonwealth’s JobKeeper package at Monday’s meeting.

They urged its support through the Commonwealth Parliament to provide much needed financial support to the Australian economy.

Truck Stops

National Cabinet agreed that truck stops can remain open with social distancing and hygiene measures in place, to the satisfaction of local state and territory health authorities.

Commercial and residential tenancies

National Cabinet agreed to consider advice from Treasurers on commercial and residential tenancies at their next meeting on Friday 3rd April 2020.

National Baseline Restrictions

Addressing the meeting, the Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy advised that Australia has now achieved significant behavioural change .

Professor Murphy said that the message to “stay at home unless doing limited essential activities” is being heeded. 

It is clear the epidemiology curve is beginning to flatten, but it is too early to determine whether such movements will be significant or sustained.

Stronger adherence to social distancing and new quarantine arrangements for returned travellers will take a number of days to show maximum effect.

The biggest single concern remains the evidence of cases where there are no known local links.

Following agreement of a national baseline for social distancing and business restrictions, National Cabinet agreed to adopt the advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) that: 

  • Supports the long-term nationwide maintenance and enforcement of the restrictions currently in place;
  • Local circumstances may prompt states and territories to introduce additional measures for a period to further control community transmission; and
  • Local decisions should be on the advice of the local Chief Health Officer informed by the local epidemiology at the time.

The factors influencing such a recommendation include consideration of:

  • the overall number of new cases, and particularly the rate of change
  • the proportion of locally acquired cases without known links to other cases
  • multiple outbreaks in vulnerable populations, including remote Indigenous communities and residential aged care facilities
  • capacity of laboratory testing and the health system to respond to current and predicted load. 

National Cabinet will meet again on Friday 3 April 2020.

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