Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared Australia is on the road to a coronavirus-safe economy with major economic reform looming large.
The federal government is eyeing tax, industrial relations and deregulation as key reform areas for a business-led recovery after widespread economic destruction.
Mr Morrison said $320 billion of already announced stimulus was about preparing for the road back to growth.
“We are on the way back to a COVID-safe economy,” he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.
“We are building the protections for this COVID-safe economy.”
The prime minister said a range of reform options raised over the past decade would be considered along with any new proposals.
“What I’m honestly saying to Australians is we’re looking at all options with fresh eyes,” he said.
“That’s in a good-faith way and I would be encouraging everyone else with a stake in this and that includes the union movement.”
He said the government had developed an excellent working relationship with the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
The big four banks will set up a hotline to help bosses pay workers while they wait for the JobKeeper payment to land in their account.
More than 960,000 businesses and sole traders have registered interest in the $130 billion wage subsidy scheme, which gives employers $1500 a fortnight to give to each employee.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese said his focus was on ways to increase wages and job security.
He said the economy would not “snap back” to what it was before the virus swept the world.
“We won’t wake up one morning and be through this crisis and be back to where we were,” Mr Albanese told reporters in Canberra.
“It needs government support and we’ve been reminded during this crisis that government intervention is an essential component of how we deal with our economy.”
Consensus has evaporated in recent days, with Labor and unions angry with the government slashing notice periods for worker votes on changes to pay and conditions.
The coalition has also revived plans to pass its “ensuring integrity” legislation which makes it easier to ban officials and deregister unions.
Mr Morrison said he wouldn’t horse trade in public in response to suggestions dropping the bill would foster greater cooperation with unuons.
Employer groups are pushing for company tax cuts and a workplace law overhaul, while the ACTU wants more employee rights.
Tax reform guru Ken Henry has called for a new levy on business cash flow to replace the GST, payroll tax and state insurance duties.
He also wants stamp duties and fuel excise replaced with land tax and road user charges.