Western Australia freezes ‘all household fees’ as part of a major economic relief package

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The Australian state of Western Australia has frozen all household fees, including electricity, water, public transport fares and motor vehicles charges.

The state has declared a state of emergency.

WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced all household fees and charges — including electricity, water and vehicle registration — will be frozen as part of a major economic relief package to tackle the COVID-19 emergency, as the state reports a dramatic spike in new cases.

Mr McGowan said 10 new cases of coronavirus had been confirmed since Sunday.

It was the biggest one-day jump in cases and brought the total number of diagnosed cases in the state from 18 to 28, including one death.

Mr McGowan said the measures would provide relief to West Australian families, seniors and business owners.

“These are extraordinary times that require extraordinary measures,” he said.

“We are in a state of emergency in Australia.

“We not only need to deal with the health consequences of the coronavirus, but we also need to deal with the economic impacts as well.

“As a responsible Government we must respond and we must provide certainty to both businesses and to households.”

The stimulus package announced will mean electricity, water, motor vehicle charges, the emergency services levy and public transport fares in the state will not increase until at least July 2021, at a cost to the Government of $402 million.

“For the first time in 16 years all household fees and charges will be frozen, providing relief and certainty to each and every West Australian,” Mr McGowan said.

The Premier said another $114 million would be spent on measures to help small and medium-sized business.

Eligible businesses will receive a one-off grant of $17,500.

The WA Government will also provide 20 days of paid COVID-19 leave for state public sector workers, including casual workers.

It will include cover anyone who has contracted COVID-19, anyone who needs to care for someone with the virus or who is required to self-isolate, or who cannot access schools or other care arrangements

 

Read more via ABC News

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