COVID-19 Update No.7, 15 April 2020

15 April 2020

[TODAY!] COVID19 Diverse – a social media forum

Join #COVID19diverse – a social media forum hearing from disabled, queer and diverse Canberra voices in the pandemic, and hosted by ACTCOSS, Women With Disabilities ACT, A Gender Agenda, Advocacy for Inclusion and AIDS Action Council.

This all-day social media forum is an opportunity to provide feedback about advocacy priorities, share information, discuss what’s working for you or to just vent.

Participate on the Facebook event page or engage with the hashtag #COVID19diverse on Twitter. Join any time between 10am and 4pm today, 15 April.

New COVID-19 Helpline – 02 6207 7244

8am-8pm daily

ACT Government has created a new helpline and website to inform and assist the ACT community through the challenges of COVID-19. The helpline can be contacted on 02 6207 7244 between 8am and 8pm daily, and the website can be accessed any time:

The COVID-19 Helpline will help the community to stay informed and access services such as:

  • COVID-19 health advice and referrals
  • Requests for advice and information about the business and community stimulus packages provided by the ACT Government
  • Requests for assistance by vulnerable and isolated persons, including those self-isolating or in quarantine
  • Community reports of non-compliance with health directions by individuals, businesses and organisations for referral to the relevant authorities
  • Referrals to the ACT Health Protection Services, ACT Policing and Access Canberra Fair Trading
  • Answer general COVID-19 related enquires.


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

If you would like to flag issues affecting your organisation or vulnerable communities, please get in touch with ACTCOSS through our general email address [email protected] or someone from the team.

ACOSS COVID-19 Advocacy

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.

Community Sector Updates

  • National Disability Services (the peak-body for disability service providers) and the Australian Services Union, the Health Services Union and the United Workers Union (the ‚ÄòNDIS Unions’) have developed a joint proposal on an urgent package of supports for the disability sector workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ACT Legal Services:

    • The Consumer Law Centre is a project of Care Inc. We provide free legal advice and representation in the areas of consumer credit (mortgages, credit cards and personal loans), debt recovery, banking, contract, general fair trading and consumer protection. Find out more about Consumer Law Centre services. Contact: 02 6143 0044 or [email protected].
    • Legal Aid ACT provides advice, assistance and representation in a range of areas including employment, tenancy, criminal and family law.

      Legal Aid can also provide advice and assistance to people needing to apply for Family Violence Orders and Personal Protection Orders. Legal Aid also operates the Older Person’s ACT Legal Service (OPALS).

      Contact: Legal Aid Helpline on 1300 654 314 or

    • Women’s Legal Centre provides legal assistance to women in the ACT and region who cannot afford a private lawyer and do not qualify for legal aid. Our main areas of practice are family law, domestic violence, victims of crime, employment and discrimination. Contact: 02 6257 4377.
    • Canberra Community Law (CCL) is providing legal advice, assistance and representation to people in the ACT on low incomes for matters relating to tenancy, public housing, social security and disability discrimination law, including issues related to COVID-19. CCL is also still providing services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through the Dhurrawang Aboriginal Human Rights Program and through the Street Law program. Contact: 02 6218 7900.

NPF & Charity Financial Support

Other Updates

Service Changes


< Past ACTCOSS COVID-19 Updates

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