COVID-19 Update No.9, 23 April 2020

23 April 2020

Key Updates

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 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.

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.

ACT COVID-19 Helpline – 02 6207 7244

8am-8pm daily

ACT Government has a helpline and website to inform and assist the ACT community through the challenges of COVID-19.

Community Sector Updates

NPF & Charity Financial Support

Other Updates

Service Changes


< Past ACTCOSS COVID-19 Updates

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