COVID-19 Update No.8, 17 April 2020
17 April 2020
Information to support landlords and tenants: the ACT Government’s COVID-19 resources site now includes factsheets for tenants (pdf), landlords (pdf), and real estate agents (pdf) in relation to their rights during COVID-19.
ACTCOSS COVID-19 Advocacy
ACTCOSS have been advocating on behalf of community organisations during this COVID-19 pandemic period through actions, including:
- Engagement with Minister Orr and Minister Stephen-Smith on:
- Ensuring the ACT Government’s COVID-19 Hotline is meeting needs of vulnerable Canberrans and has updated information
- ACT’s position on personal protective equipment (PPE) for provision of disability services
- Improving communication with vulnerable groups on available services
- Supporting CREATE’s call to extend for at 6 months the transition process for young people exiting care
- Calling for information on the $9m package for the community sector.
- Joining the Joint Fund Advisory Group for the Jobs for Canberrans Fund. We are focused on ensuring jobs through the program are made available for those that have no access to income (e.g. people ineligible for Centrelink or JobKeeper payments).
- Joining with internationally recognised Australian experts in human rights, bioethics and disability to emphasise key human rights principles for ethical decision making during the COVID-19 pandemic through a Statement of Concern.
- A letter to the ACT Chief Medical Officer and Chief Health Officer regarding the national Statement of Concern on equal access to critical care for people with disability during COVID-19 in the ACT
- CEO of Canberra Health Services confirmed that this Statement of Concern will be considered in any planning process in their response to COVID-19.
- Meeting with the Canberra Business Chamber to identify areas for joint advocacy, including:
- Commercial rates waivers for NFPs and affected businesses
- Further support on energy costs for NFPs and affected businesses
- Support for sole traders accessing Centrelink supports.
- Meeting with the Hon Senator Katy Gallagher on federal issues affecting the ACT community sector, including:
- Personal protective equipment and additional support for the disability sector
- Extension of support to community sector organisations not eligible for JobKeeper
- Extension of JobKeeper payments to people on temporary visas
- Ethical and equitable access to critical care for all Australians.
- Ongoing and constructive engagement with ACT Policing to achieve zero infringement notices during COVID-19 and to share any community concerns. See ACT Police media release.
- Received a letter on the oversight of the corrections system (pdf) from the ACT Human Rights Commission with updates, including:
- Confirmation that oversight of the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC) is continuing
- That the Commission and the Public Advocate can visit the prison in person in exceptional cases
- That the Inspector of Correctional Services will continue to investigate critical incidents
- That the Official Visitors continue to speak regularly with detainees by email or phone.
With our partners, ACTCOSS will continue to monitor the situation in the AMC.
ACOSS COVID-19 Advocacy
- ACOSS’s Coronavirus page provides information on ACOSS advocacy for support for the community sector to respond to the crisis.
- ACOSS has published a list of COVID-19 response advocacy and information from ACOSS members
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 www.canberrarelief.com.au
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.
ACT COVID-19 Helpline – 02 6207 7244
Community Sector Updates
- Youth Coalition of the ACT and Families ACT communique on the early impact of COVID-19 on the ACT youth and family sector (pdf)
- FECCA is looking for stories on how migrants, people from CALD backgrounds, and those on temporary visas are being affected by COVID-19
NPF & Charity Financial Support
- Australian Government info: COVID-19 Economic Response for Not-for-Profits and Charities
- Jobs Australia member information
- COVID-19 Rapid Advocacy Fund
- The Federal Government has released a Statement of Expectations for the energy sector
- ACT Government information for safe working and social distancing for people working on building sites in multiple languages
- New Visa option for temporary visa holders to stay in Australia
- Article: ‚ÄòWe must combat COVID-19 but creeping authoritarianism could do more harm than good‘ from Edward Santow, Australian Human Rights Commissioner
- ACT Corrective Services Commissioner’s Weekly Update to Detainees (pdf)
- Relationships Australia Canberra and Region’s Building Better Relationships group is now being conducted online. This online group helps couples to strengthen their relationship, explore how to manage conflicts more compassionately, deepen friendship and intimacy, and share life purpose and dreams. The group is FREE. Register for Buiding Better Relationships here. There is an information session on: 29 April from 6.30pm-7pm. If you require any further information, call 02 6122 7100 or email your enquiry to [email protected]
- Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT (SHFPACT) are available for telephone consultations for a range of sexual and reproductive health needs. The following appointments can be booked via Hotdoc for a phone consultation:
- Sexual health services:
- STI (sexually transmissible infection) screening, when you do not have any symptoms
- Initial PrEP consultation (new clients)
- Follow up PrEP (continuing clients)
- Menopause Centre Canberra:
- Initial menopause consultations for new clients
- Follow up menopause for continuing clients
- Contraception and reproductive health services:
- Repeat contraceptive pill prescriptions for existing clients
- For other health services and information, please contact us by email [email protected] (please include your phone number) or phone 02 6247 3077.
- Sexual health services:
- New and updated service information guides from Volunteering ACT on:
- Free Meal and Emergency Relief and Short Stay Accommodation Service Updates
- ACT Legal Services Guide
- Op Shops Guide
- Complaints Resolution Service Guide
- Closing TODAY: Families who require safe and supervised care for their children at the start of Term 2 can access the registration form for supervised care here. You can also call 02 6205 8495 to speak to a team member. The Education Directorate will be using responses to identify which school sites may be included.
- Navigating volunteering during COVID-19 by Volunteering ACT
- COVID-19 Temporary MBS Telehealth Service Factsheets
- The ACT Government COVID-19 website can be translated into 107 languages via Google Translate. Insert the URL https://www.covid19.act.gov.au in the translation box, choose the language, and click ‚ÄòTranslate’. Then click the link in the translation box to open the translated site
- COVID-19 NDIS information in languages other than English: These include: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Filipino (Tagalog), French, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Macedonian, Samoan, Spanish and Vietnamese
- Information on accessing Centrelink payments from Economic Justice Australia
- Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) information on charities and COVID-19
- The Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work Briefing Paper on Working from Home: Opportunities and risks
- Mental Illness Education ACT (MIEACT) interactive digital ‚ÄòMental Health and Me’ program for 10 to 14-year-olds. Free for all schools and students across Canberra
- Resources for NFP Employers: Navigating the challenges of COVID-19 via Ethical Jobs.
- ABS products to measure impact of COVID-19 – To help manage the impacts of COVID-19, the ABS has released interactive maps that show the geographic distribution of particular population groups, including the distribution of health conditions and older population. ABS has set up a dedicated webpage for these products at: gov.au/covid19