At the time of writing, the extended and expanding Sydney lockdown is an extremely worrying COVID-19 situation for both authorities and the population. Over the border in Victoria, an emerging and growing situation is also developing and a snap 5-day lockdown could be extended. These situations will clearly be impacting the ability of boat owners to get out on the water and enjoy their vessels. In some jurisdictions, fishing is permitted, but you will need to check your local rulings to avoid penalties. Several people have been fined by police trying to enter Queensland from NSW by boat, in defiance of the state’s health orders. So if you are planning to use your boat while your area is under a COVID-19 outbreak, the message is clear – check the detail of restrictions.
More pressing than the impact on boating activities for many boat owners may be the impact on their ability to meet their boat loan repayments. In Sydney especially, many people will be unable to continue their usual employment and this may cause problems with meeting the financial obligations. We cover off on the assistance which is currently available through a number of channels.
State and Commonwealth Relief Packages
In response to the escalating situation in Greater Sydney, on 13 July the NSW Government in conjunction with the Federal Governments announced an extensive support and relief package for individuals and businesses. The Prime Minister further elaborated on the announcements, saying that the package would be available to all states after a certain period in lockdown. That was originally a week, but after the 5-day lockdown was announced by the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, it was confirmed that support would be available for the 5 day,s not 7 day minimum. More information here.
Individuals that lose work hours as a result of lockdowns can seek payments through the Disaster Relief Program. For those that have lost between 8 and 20 hours of work per week the payments are $375 and for 20+ hours per week, $600 per week. This was increased from the earlier announcement of $325 and $500 respectively and as noted by the PM the payments are in line with the JobKeeper levels in December 2020.
In an earlier statement, eligibility was based on having liquid assets of $10,000 or more. That eligibility criterion has now been removed.
These payments are made via the Commonwealth Government and those interested can check eligibility criteria and apply via the www.mygov.gov.au website. Payments will be made directly to individuals not via the employer as was the case with JobKeeper.
Business Relief Packages
Business operators including sole traders, will need to check their individual state government website for details of specific relief for their structure and circumstances. The NSW Government has announced a range of packages for sole traders, micro-businesses and employers that have experience a 30% fall in turnover in the qualifying period which appears to be 26 June-26 July. The downturn in turnover is comparing 2019 figures with 2021.
NSW measures include:-
- One off payments of $7500-$15,000 for businesses meeting certain criteria.
- JobSaver scheme of fortnightly payments of $1500+ depending on weekly payroll.
- Microbusiness grants of $1500 per fortnight
- Payroll tax deferrals and concessions
In announcing the packages, the NSW Treasurer said the support was available to businesses across the state that had been impacted by the lockdown, not just those located in lockdown areas. As there are several different packages, business owners will need to check the details for each to see which best suits their needs and eligibility. Applications open 19 July and 26 July.
Now enduring a 5th lockdown, Victorians have a range of relief and support packages in place. Details can be found at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/financial-support-for-businesses-and-workers and will no doubt be updated if the 5 day lockdown is extended beyond the Tuesday 20 July timeframe.
Bank and Lender Support
The Australian Banking Association published an updated statement on 17 July following the expansion of the Sydney lockdown restrictions. While the statement specifically refers to home loans and business finance, if you have a personal secured or unsecured boat loan with a bank and are facing financial issues, contact your lender to discuss what is available to you.
Sourcing Boat Finance at this Time
For those with boat loan and marine finance applications currently in any stage of processing with Jade Boat Loans, unless otherwise advised, our consultants will be continuing with your boat loan application. If you would like to pause your application while awaiting the lifting of lockdown restrictions, please contact your Jade consultant asap.
If we have arranged a pre-approved boat loan for you in anticipation of attending and buying at the Sydney Festival of Boating (now cancelled) please contact us to discuss what happens next. If you cannot leave your home to inspect boats to buy, we can arrange an extension or review of your pre-approved loan.
Whatever questions or issues you may have around your Jade boat loan in regard to COVID-19 lockdown, please contact us to discuss and arrange a solution. You may also find our boat loan finance calculator handy to estimate your repayment options.
Contact 1300 000 003 or online to discuss your boat lending requirements.
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION AND SPECIFIC DETAILS CONTAINED IN THE CONTENT OF THIS ARTICLE HAVE BEEN PREPARED AND ARE PRESENTED PURELY AS GENERAL INFORMATION AND NOT INTENDED AS THE ONLY SOURCE OF FINANCIAL ADVICE FOR BOAT BUYERS AND LOAN BORROWERS. FOR THOSE THAT CONSIDER THEY REQUIRE SPECIFIC ADVICE, THEY SHOULD CONSULT WITH A FINANCIAL ADVISOR. LIABILITY IS NOT ACCEPTED IN REGARD TO ERRORS AND MISPRESENTED DATA AND DETAILS HEREIN.