COVID-19 Update No.9, 23 April 2020
23 April 2020
Support for people facing homelessness or domestic and family violence arising from the COVID-19 pandemic: The ACT Government has announced $3 million in funding for client support ($330,000); accommodation support ($832,000); responding to domestic and family violence ($550,000); and provider support ($1 million). ACTCOSS will distribute more information once it is received.
Jobs for Canberrans: The Jobs for Canberrans fund will provide work opportunities for people in the casual or semi-skilled workforce who have lost their jobs. Individuals with no or restricted access to Centrelink or JobKeeper (for example temporary visa holders) will be prioritised. View available roles.
ACTCOSS COVID-19 Advocacy
ACTCOSS have been advocating on behalf of community organisations during this COVID-19 pandemic period through actions, including:
- A call for the ACT Government to urgently extend the Utilities Concession and additional supports to asylum seekers and temporary visa holders (pdf) in response to COVID-19 (with Care Financial Counselling Service, and endorsed by Companion House, the ANU Students’ Association, and the ANU Postgraduate and Research Students’ Association).
- Joint letter from Carers ACT, National Disability Services and ACTCOSS calling for improved access to personal protective equipment (PPE) (pdf) for disability service providers and people with disability receiving services, and for clarity on the ACT Government’s position on provision of PPE to the disability sector.
- Joined the Refugee Council of Australia’s #nobodyleftbehind campaign seeking support for people seeking asylum, refugees, and other temporary migrants who have been made vulnerable by this crisis.
- Joined the open letter from Australian Progress and over 190 organisatons calling on the Commonwealth Government to properly fund Aboriginal responses to COVID-19.
- Following advocacy on the issue from ACTCOSS and its partners, received confirmation that the Official Visitors will return to face-to-face visits at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC) ensuring appropriate safety measures are put in place.
ACOSS COVID-19 Advocacy
- Raise the Rate: Let’s Never Go Back To $40 A Day – see how you can support the campaign.
- COVID-19 unemployment report shows why we must fix our approach to helping people locked out of paid work.
- ACOSS’s Coronavirus page provides information on ACOSS advocacy for support for the community sector to respond to the crisis.
- The ACOSS COVID Community Hub provides 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
- PETITION: Stop COVID Aboriginal Deaths in Custody before it’s too late via Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT.
- NATSILS Policy Statement on COVID-19 calls on governments to do everything in their power to prevent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody due to COVID-19.
- SURVEY: Women’s Centre for Health Matters COVID-19 self-isolation health and wellbeing survey.
- PETITION: The Stop the Debt Trap Alliance are calling on the Australian Government to shut down predatory lending practices for at least six months. Read more in this article. Please consider signing the petition to put these practices on hold to protect people who are struggling to make ends meet in these difficult times. Sign the petition.
- Early Access to Super: The Australian Government is allowing individuals affected by COVID-19 to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. Find more information on the Treasury website: COVID-19 early release of super. Care Inc recommends you speak to a financial counsellor or financial advisor before making an application to access your super early. You can speak to a financial counsellor for free by contacting the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.
NPF & Charity Financial Support
- Australian Government info: COVID-19 Economic Response for Not-for-Profits and Charities
- COVID-19 Rapid Advocacy Fund
- The Residential Tenancies (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Declaration 2020 has brought into effect measures to support tenants and landlords announced on 15 April 2020. This covers temporary reduction of rent, moratorium of evictions and rent increases, and access to premises.
- FEDERAL INQUIRY: The Senate has established a cross-party committee to scrutinise Australia’s response to COVID-19. The Committee has begun accepting submissions on any matter relating to this broad topic.
- SURVEY: Living Well in the ACT in Challenging Times – the University of Canberra is conducting a wellbeing survey about the impacts of COVID-19, bushfire and hailstorm and wellbeing more generally in the ACT. Survey closes 4 May 2020.
- DISABILITY PLAN: The Federal Health Department has released a formal Management and Operational Plan for People with Disability during COVID-19. The plan provides high-level guidance on a range of factors that need to be considered in managing and preventing the transmission of COVID-19 for people with disability.
- The Disability Royal Commission is seeking information about the experiences of people with disability during COVID-19 and the recent summer bushfires. It’s released an Emergency Planning and Response Issues Paper questioning how to improve the safety and wellbeing of people with disability during similar emergencies in the future. It also asks what should be done to ensure people with disability are not at risk of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation during emergencies.
- ACT Corrective Services Commissioner’s Weekly Update to Detainees 06/2020 (pdf).
- nbn COVID-19 Relief and Assistance package, including approximately $50 million towards helping internet providers to support low-income households with school-aged children who do not currently have an active nbn connection at home.
- Commonwealth Department of Health advice for people at risk of COVID-19, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Older people, and People in aged care facilities.
- Economic Justice Australia Factsheet: Disability Support Payment and COVID-19 Payments.
- Red Cross Factsheet: Social services for migrants with Temporary Visas.
- Women’s Centre for Health Matters COVID-19 Information for ACT women.
- The Women’s Policy Action Think Tank are running a series of blog posts analysing COVID-19 and what it means for women.
- Families ACT list of COVID-19 related resources for organisations working with children, young people and families in the ACT.
- Mental Health Community Coalition ACT reliable resources on COVID-19.
- Special Issue of the External Prison Oversight and Human Rights Network Newsletter on Adapting to COVID-19: Prison Oversight and Monitoring During a Pandemic. Features an article from the ACT Inspector of Correctional Services.
- 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 COVID Policing in Australia website has been set up to monitor the everyday impact of new policing powers, and whether they are being used responsibly.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) and nbn: latest updates, working from home tips and FAQs.