As 2021 begins, the Morrison Government continues to deliver on its Economic Recovery Plan, building back from the COVID-19 crisis by securing Australian jobs and keeping businesses in business.
From 1 January 2021, a number of new measures come into effect across government including:
- The most significant changes to Australia’s insolvency framework in 30 years, reducing costs, cutting red tape and helping more small businesses recover from the pandemic. The reforms introduce a new, simplified debt restructuring process, drawing on key features of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy model in the United States. These measures apply to incorporated businesses with liabilities of less than $1 million – covering around 76 per cent of businesses subject to insolvencies today, 98 per cent of whom who have less than 20 employees.
- Australians will have more power to choose their own superannuation fund, instead of being forced into a fund because of enterprise bargaining agreements. ‘Your Superannuation, Your Choice’ allows around 800,000 Australians to decide where their hard-earned retirement savings are invested, representing around 40 per cent of all employees covered by a current enterprise agreement.
- The Government’s highly effective HomeBuilder program extends to 31 March 2021. The scheme is expected to support the construction or major rebuild of an additional 15,000 homes, bringing the total to around 42,000 projects across Australia. HomeBuilder continues to drive demand in the construction sector, helping to protect the jobs of the more than one million Australians it employs.
- Australians will be able to access more affordable medicines thanks to critical new additions to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). These include Darzalex® (Daratumumab) for patients with multiple myeloma, a common form of blood cancer, Otezla® (Apremilast), a treatment for those living with severe chronic psoriasis, as well as Tagrisso® (Osimertinib), a targeted therapy for non-small cell lung cancer. Since 2013, the Australian Government has approved over 2,500 new or amended listings on the PBS.
- Up to 30,000 more Australians can now study for a university degree as part of the Government’s Job-ready Graduates package, helping drive Australia’s COVID-19 recovery. Course fees are to be discounted in areas of expected future job demand, including teaching, nursing, clinical psychology, agriculture and engineering. Regional students also have access to a $5000 one-off scholarship to help with relocation costs.
- Major reforms to Australia’s foreign investment framework take effect, with new requirements for foreign investors. This ensures Australia keeps pace with emerging risks and global developments including similar changes to foreign investment regimes in comparable countries.
These important new measures continue to build on the Morrison Government’s Economic Recovery Plan by creating jobs, rebuilding our economy and securing Australia’s future.