COVID-19 Update No.5, 3 April 2020

3 April 2020

  • Community organisations who are ACT Property Group tenants will not be charged rent for 6 months, starting 1 April. All organisations who have already paid rent for this period will be reimbursed. Rent invoices will still be issued with a negative line item to indicate the no-rent charge
  • The second phase of the ACT Government Emergency Relief Package has been announced. See ACTCOSS’s media release
  • The Community Services Directorate are contacting organisations through dedicated relationship managers to identify essential services and support them to continue operations.

Canberra Relief Network – CRN

The Canberra Relief Network or CRN is the ACT Government’s response to the sudden and overwhelming demand for food and non-perishable household essentials item that is occurring and is expected to increase as a direct result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Please direct eligible clients to contact the call centre on 1800 43 11 33 or 02 5104 9599 or go online at

Canberra Relief Network Eligibility

The aim of CRN is to support individuals who are not able to purchase items in the supermarket due to vulnerability. While many members of the community may feel insecure during this time, it is essential to restrict eligibility to this service to those who absolutely have no other choice. This includes:

  • Pre-existing clients of food pantries
  • Current clients of community services organisations
  • Community members that are identified as vulnerable through government support
  • People escaping family violence
  • Refugees and migrants
  • Those directly affected by the pandemic: casual employees experiencing hardship, those in the gig economy and those that are isolated or incapacitated due to illness and require direct assistance.

Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 2.30pm.


Other Food & Emergency Relief

  • Free Meal & Emergency Relief Services (pdf): Comprehensive list of local services, updated weekly by VolunteeringACT
  • Australia Post Pharmacy Home Delivery Service: supports vulnerable members of the community and those in self-isolation, so they can have ongoing access to essential medications. Pharmacies can offer free delivery on prescriptions to their customers so speak to your pharmacy to see if you or a family member qualifies for this service.
  • Woolworths Basics Box: provides essential products to customers who are currently unable to visit Woolworths stores – the elderly, people with a disability, those with compromised immunity and people in mandatory isolation. $80 inc. delivery.


ACTCOSS have been advocating on behalf of community organisations during this COVID-19 pandemic period through actions, including:

  • ACTCOSS will be meeting with the ACT Deputy Chief of Police on Monday to ensure that actions taken against people perceived to be breaching isolation measures do not impact on the delivery of essential community services nor disproportionately target vulnerable individuals
  • Continuing to work with Minister Orr and the ACT Government to:

    • Define essential services for the purposes of continuing work in a major shutdown
    • Ensure transparency in the distribution of additional funds allocated to the community sector through the ACT Government’s stimulus packages

  • Co-signing a letter from ADACAS, asking Canberra Health Services, ACT Health, and the Community Services Directorate to ensure that people with disability living in congregate living arrangements have access to an equal level of health safety
  • Co-signing a letter from Canberra Community Law, to Minister Berry, Minister for Housing, calling for a 6-month moratorium on public and community housing evictions
  • Engaging with several ACT and federal advocacy organisations on developing an ethical framework on access to critical care during COVID-19 to ensure the human rights of vulnerable groups are protected
  • Meeting with ACT sector organisations representing migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum, and Minister for Multicultural Affairs to identify gaps impacting the CALD community
  • Co-signing a second open letter on COVID-19 and the criminal justice system. Signatories close Monday 6 April. See the open letter (pdf) and sign on here (Google sheet).

Community Sector Updates

NPF & Charity Financial Support

Other updates

Service updates


< Past ACTCOSS COVID-19 Updates

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