The Victorian government has announced it will provide a $500 million fund to help public infrastructure workers find work as part of a $1.7 billion package to save jobs.
The Working with Victoria Fund will support employment in response to the pandemic and afford security for Victorians.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the government will continue to work closely with businesses and unions to provide support over the coming months.
“We’ve listened to business and workers and now we’re taking unique and unprecedented action to help businesses and their workers through this crisis,” he said.
Payments will start flowing next week for small-to-medium businesses with a payroll of less than $3 million and employ about 400,000 workers.
The government will also facilitate job matching to help workers find short-term or casual work.
Treasurer Tim Pallas said the Victorian government was “working in lock-step” with the Federal Government to deliver financial support for businesses.
“This is the first of many announcements we will make to help Victorian businesses to help them through,” he said.
Businesses will be able to defer payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year, which will free up a further $83 million in cash flow.
Land tax payments will also be deferred for eligible small businesses renting government buildings. Private landlords are also encouraged to undertake these measures.
The 2020-21 Victorian budget will be deferred due to the pandemic in line with all governments.