COVID-19 Update No.8, 17 April 2020

17 April 2020

Key Updates

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.

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.


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

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. 

ACT 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 website can be accessed any time:


Community Sector Updates

NPF & Charity Financial Support

Other Updates

Service Changes


< Past ACTCOSS COVID-19 Updates

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