National cabinet has again deferred any decisions about residential rent relief as part of the response to coronavirus.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and premiers and chief ministers met again on Friday morning, and although further economic stimulus was signalled, there was still no detail on what could be in store for residential tenants who find themselves unable to pay bills due to job losses.
While Tasmania has moved to protect people from being evicted during the coronavirus crisis, Mr Morrison said such actions wouldn't be nationalised across the states and territories.
"They cannot be nationalised under federal jurisdiction, but these things will always remain the province of the states under the constitution," he said.
- Coronavirus: Government unveils second stimulus package
- Coronavirus: Pubs, casinos, clubs ordered closed in new shutdown measures
- Coronavirus stimulus package: $750 cash payments to 6.5 million Australians
- $25,000 cash hand-outs for firms, subsidies for apprentices
- At warp speed, what seemed clever now seems not so
- The time is now more than ever for transparency and even dissent
Work was underway for a consistent approach for residential tenancies.
"We are looking, the Commonwealth provides rental assistance and more and more people are coming under rental assistance, for the simple fact that they have lost employment, they are coming onto the jobseeker payment which gives them entitlement to rental assistance, and so there will be a lot of support that come into that, but it is an issue that is a high priority."
Mr Morrison said state treasurers and the federal treasurer were leading the process on rental options.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he understood many people were concerned about their ability to pay rent if they had lost their job or thought they may lose their job.
"The National Cabinet will continue to work on the appropriate mechanisms to ensure that people who have lost their job or their income due to this unprecedented situation will not be kicked out of their home," Mr Barr said in a statement.
"These families need assurances that they will be able to keep a roof over their head, particularly as we head into the winter months."
Support for residential renters has been discussed at least three times at national cabinet, which has met four times in the last week.
Commercial tenancies have also been discussed and the Prime Minister said they were being worked through as part of work on a "business hibernation" plan.
We have removed our paywall from our stories about the coronavirus. This is a rapidly changing situation and we want to make sure our readers are as informed as possible. If you're looking to stay up to date on COVID-19, you can also sign up for our twice-daily digest here. If you would like to support our journalists you can subscribe here.