‘Hibernating the economy isn’t a bad idea’
A GOLD Coast business leader has backed the Federal Government's plans to put the economy into "hibernation" in a bid to minimise the financial devastate wrought by COVID-19.
Freezes on some taxes, rent and debt obligations are among several emergency measures being considered by Prime Minister Scott Morrison as part of the "third tranche" of economic stimulus set to be unveiled next week.
It is understood some wage subsidies paid at a flat rate is also being considered
Mr Morrison told media that the proposal had been put to the premiers and chief ministers during yesterday's National Cabinet meeting.
"Part of that plan which we are set to announce will be to hibernate Australian businesses," he said.
"This will be a very innovative approach in the circumstances we find ourselves in and it's pretty simple - there are businesses which will have to close their doors and will have to keep them closed.
"We want those businesses to start again and we do not want them to be so saddled by rental payments and other liabilities that they will not be able to open again.
"This will underpin our stage as we got to the third tranche of our economic plan which will include support by states and terrorises of managing the difficult issue of commercial tenancies and ultimately, residential tenancies."
Businesses bosses have been divided about the effectiveness of the previous economic relief packages announced by the Government.
But the Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce yesterday welcomed Mr Morrison's comments.
"It is not a bad concept provided there is opportunity to use this time for some blue sky thinking and innovation,' he said.
"The world as we know it has changed and this is the time to think outside the square.
"People's spending and living patterns are changing whether they like it or not."
It comes as the Gold Coast City Council continues to develop its plans for a second round of stimulus after incumbent Mayor Tom Tate this week announced $3 million of measures to reducing pressure on small businesses.
These include waiving roadsides dining fees, development application charges and for all businesses with commercial leases on city property.
All interest payments will be waived for businesses which enter affordable repayment agreements for water charges, waste water charges, waste charges and rates.
Cr Tate yesterday said council chief executive Dale Dickson was busy working on the proposal and it would be ready after the weekend.
"We are working on it daily and let's have a look at it Monday," he said. "We will see what other measures we can introduce but there will be tweaks made at the first special budget meeting.
"Any fat in the budget operationally will be trimmed but frontline services must be preserved while major projects which can create jobs will be fast-tracked."
Originally published as 'Hibernating the economy isn't a bad idea'