Live: $500m set aside by Federal Government to help local councils during coronavirus

In a sign that the COVID-19 situation is improving in Australia, today marks the first Friday since the start of the pandemic that the National Cabinet will not meet.

Follow today’s events as they unfold.

Live updates

By Jon Healy

Local councils getting a cash injection

(ABC News: Stephanie Zillman)

The Federal Government has announced a $500 million fund to help local councils stimulate their economies during the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister for Local Government Mark Coulton said the money could go towards road upgrades or community infrastructure projects such as bike paths and picnic shelters.

“The criteria will be very broad, that’s the idea of it, to employ maybe some of the underutilised local government staff or unemployed people within their local areas,” he said.

“But part of the guidelines will be that all materials need to be procured from the local community so local businesses will get an opportunity to get benefit from it as well.”

The Commonwealth will also bring forward $1.3 billion in annual grant payments to local governments for 2020/21.

Reporting by Jade Macmillan

By Jon Healy

Good morning

Welcome to another day of news in the world of coronavirus.

Now that some measures are starting to relax and the weekend actually means something now, we can start celebrating Fridays again, right?

Well, regardless, let’s do it. Happy Friday, everyone!