The global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having significant implications across Australian society – including for individuals and businesses in the manufacturing sector. AMTIL is monitoring the situation and is working to support our members, partner organisations and the broader industry in these challenging times. AMTIL is also co-operating with partners in government and across industry to promote opportunities for manufacturers to assist in the effort to combat the pandemic.

This page contains information and advice in the following areas:

 

General information

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, the health, safety and wellbeing of the general public is of paramount importance. The Federal Government has released an official “Coronavirus Australia” app, which can be download from in the Apple App Store or Google Play. Further news, updates and advice from government agencies across Australia can also be found at www.australia.gov.au.

State governments are also providing up-to-date information on the outbreak and its implications. For information in your location, see as follows:

There is also widespread concern about the impact the crisis will have on the economy, including on the manufacturing sector; the Federal Government has announced a range of measures to support businesses, with further announcements expected in this area. Further support measures are also expected as the situation progresses. Details of these can be found in the sections below.

In addition, several of AMTIL’s Corporate Partners have created dedicated resource pages offering information and advice on various aspects of the crisis:

 

Health & safety advice for individuals

The Federal Government is making available the latest official medical advice for the general public on protecting yourself and others and containing the spread of the virus. Information can be found at the following locations:

www.australia.gov.au/#health_and_prevention  

www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

Further information can also be found at the World Health Organisation’s website:

www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

The Federal Government has launched a new voluntary coronavirus tracing app, COVIDSafe, that will speed up the process of identifying people who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with coronavirus. The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), peak industry body for innovation technology (IT), has backed the app after receiving a detailed briefing from Government. For more information on the app, visit: www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/covidsafe-app 

 

Advice on workplace safety

The Safe Work Australia website has been updated to provide a central hub of work health and safety (WHS) guidance and tools to help Australian workplaces manage the health and safety risks posed by COVID-19. The website gives users easy access to guidance that is directly relevant to their specific industry.

www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/covid-19-information-workplaces

Under workplace health & safety laws, employers must have measures in place to eliminate or manage the risks arising from COVID-19. Safe Work Australia has released a set of guidelines advising businesses and workplaces on how to manage the risks. Details can be found here:

www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-employers

The Federal Department of Health has developed a set of resources that are available to assist businesses, including a range of printable, customisable posters:

www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-campaign-resources

Industry Capability Network (ICN) has launched a new ICN COVID-19 Response App, which provides software that can protect workers from the threat of coronavirus through a simple questionnaire that screens anyone that interacts with your company for symptoms of the virus. The simple-to-use application is available FREE to all small businesses (50 employees or less), charity groups and not-for-profit organisations. Find out more about ICN’s COVID-19 Response Application at: www.icn.spresponse.com.au

Advice on travel

Severe restrictions have been imposed on all travel – both domestic and international. For up-to-the-minute advice on travel, visit:

www.smartraveller.gov.au/crisis/covid-19-and-travel

 

Support for employees

The Federal Government has announced various measures in support of workers who have been adversely affected by the crisis, with further measures expected as the situation evolves. Information on the measures can be found at:

www.treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/households

The Government is also allowing individuals affected by COVID-19 to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019–20 and a further $10,000 in 2020–21. For details, visit:

www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/Withdrawing-and-using-your-super/Early-access-to-your-super

The Federal Government has launched a new Jobs Hub to support businesses and Australians looking for work. While many businesses have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and are reducing workforces, some areas of the economy have increased demand for workers. Jobs Hub provides information on current employment opportunities, what’s happening in our labour market, and jobs that are in demand. www.dese.gov.au/covid-19/jobs-hub

Support for businesses

The Federal Government has announced a range of measures to assist businesses affected by the crisis, with further steps expected as the situation evolves. Information on the measures can be found at:

www.australia.gov.au/#information_for_businesses_and_employees

www.treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses

www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Dealing-with-disasters/In-detail/Specific-disasters/COVID-19

In addition, the Federal Government’s Business Hotline – 13 28 46 – has been expanded to provide specialist advisers and extended hours to support small and medium businesses impacted by the pandemic.

The Federal Government has passed legislation to introduce the JobKeeper payment, intended to provide wage subsidies to businesses significantly affected by COVID-19. Businesses can register their interest at: ato.gov.au/Job-keeper-payment

The Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure will provide up to $25,000 back to business, with a minimum payment of $2,000 for eligible businesses. The payment will provide temporary cash flow support to small and medium businesses that employ staff. The payment will be tax free. For details, visit: www.ato.gov.au/Business/Business-activity-statements-(BAS)/In-detail/Boosting-cash-flow-for-employers 

The Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme will provide support for the flow of credit in the Australian economy, in particular for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Under the Scheme, the Government will provide a guarantee of 50% to small and medium enterprise (SME) lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital. For details: www.business.gov.au/Risk-management/Emergency-management/Coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/Supporting-the-flow-of-credit

The Government has announced a time-limited 15-month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. This applies to eligible assets acquired from 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021. For details: www.business.gov.au/Risk-management/Emergency-management/Coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/Backing-Business-Investment

The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500m (up from $50m). This applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, for new or second‑hand assets first used or installed ready for use in this timeframe. For details: www.business.gov.au/Risk-management/Emergency-management/Coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/Increasing-the-Instant-Asset-Write-Off 

The Federal Government has imposed restrictions on a number of non-essential services to support social distancing measures. For a list of prohibited activities and venues that are impacted by these measures, visit: www.business.gov.au/Risk-management/Emergency-management/Coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/Restrictions-on-non-essential-services

With many businesses having had to instruct some or all of its staff to work remotely from home, the Australian Information Industry Association has launched a portal offering a suite of free service offerings, advice and tools designed to support business continuity: www.australianbusinesscontinuity.com.au/aiia.

 

Opportunities for manufacturers

The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) has introduced a portal for Australian manufacturers and individuals to register their interest and core competencies in support of the national response to COVID-19. The COVID-19 Manufacturer Response Register portal can be accessed here: www.amgc.org.au/covid-19-manufacturer-response

Industry Capability Network (ICN) is working with Australian governments at all levels in response to COVID-19. It has established a portal as a forum for managing supply chain shortages, including identifying gaps in the supply chain and facilitating local businesses that can help fill these gaps. Visit the ICN portal here: gateway.icn.org.au/project/4531/covid-19-response  

In support of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has made freely available a range of ISO standards around personal protective equipment (PPE), respirators and other medical equipment. For details, see: www.iso.org/covid19

The Queensland State Government has set up a web portal designed to keep manufacturing supply chains amid the ongoing coronavirus situation. The portal aims allows manufacturers and suppliers to register what they need and what is available. For details, see: www.dsdmip.qld.gov.au/index.php/industry/industry-support-dsd/manufacturer-s-supply-matching-request-form/view/form

GS1 Australia has made a range of services available at no charge to support manufacturers who have retooled to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) in the battle against coronavirus. Details can be found here: www.gs1au.org/ppe 

 

The COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve rapidly with new information emerging all the time. AMTIL strongly advises all our members and the wider manufacturing community to monitor events closely, and take the appropriate measures to stay safe.

www.amtil.com.au