Queensland families and business owners who can’t pay their rent due to the coronavirus crisis are now protected from eviction.
State parliament has passed new laws to stop struggling families being forced out of their homes, as long as they can prove their income has plunged.
Under the laws, landlords will be forced to abide by a six-month moratorium on eviction.
They also provide protection for commercial tenants, and allow for the appointment of a new small business commissioner to advocate and mediate for traders.
The laws passed with bi-partisan support during a special sitting of parliament on Wednesday.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told the house the laws were not “panacea for everything” but allowed for extraordinary measures in extraordinary times.
“The COVID-19 emergency is evolving. There is nothing stopping us from coming back to parliament at some later date and changing the sunset requirements as the situation demands.”
On Wednesday, Queensland recorded no new coronavirus cases – the second time that’s happened this week.
The premier said the state was on track “to be smashing the curve”.
But she warned any easing of restrictions would require Queenslanders to sign up to a federal government app to allow for better contact tracing when new cases are discovered.
People now able to track the spread of the deadly virus via the internet.
Queensland Health has issued data online to show COVID-19 hotspots around the state, while also detailing the number of recovered cases and those in quarantine.
It will be updated about lunchtime each day and provide a regional breakdown of local government areas, similar to what other states are already doing.
The number of samples tested, active and recovered cases, age and gender and self-quarantine statistics will be made public.
Meanwhile, Ms Palaszczuk called on Queenslanders to download a COVID-19 tracking app, which the federal government wants to roll out to monitor contact people may have with anyone who has tested positive.
“If we are going to ease restrictions down the track we will need Queenslanders to sign up to that app,” she said.
However the app is not compulsory, with some fearing the data collection raises privacy concerns.
Queensland’s total of confirmed cases remains at 1024 after zero cases were reported on Wednesday.
There are 20 COVID-29 patients in hospitals around the state, with seven in ICU, including six on ventilators.