Moratorium on evictions: The moratorium on evictions related to COVID-19 is now in force. The Declaration (pdf) and Explanatory Statement (pdf) are available. The ACT Government’s COVID-19 resources site includes factsheets for tenants (pdf), landlords (pdf), and real estate agents (pdf) which reference the moratorium.
Support for people on temporary visas: The ACT Government has announced a package to support individuals on temporary visas. The ACT Government has also announced that Medicare ineligible patients (including temporary visa holders) can now access a wide range of COVID-19 related public health services.
NFP eligibility for JobKeeper: The Federal Government has announced a broadening of eligibility for not-for-profit organisations to access the JobKeeper payment. See statement by ACOSS on changes to JobKeeper eligibility.
ACTCOSS COVID-19 Advocacy
ACTCOSS have been advocating on behalf of community organisations during this COVID-19 pandemic period through actions, including:
- Joint letter to the Chief Minister requesting extension of Concession Card benefits to people on temporary visas (pdf).
- Joint statement of support with Women’s Legal Centre, Women’s Centre for Health Matters and Professor Lorana Bartels to support the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services’ COVID-19 Policy Statement.
- Letter to Minister Ramsay from ACTCOSS and the Canberra Gambling Reform Alliance (CGRA) on gambling harm (pdf) in the wake of COVID-19.
- ACTCOSS organised a meeting with ActewAGL, Care Financial and the ACT Civil & Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) to engage on hardship programs for those struggling to manage energy bills.
- Sustained advocacy with the Community Services Directorate and ACT Health in partnership with Carers ACT and National Disability Services regarding personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Engagement with relevant Ministers on:
- Support for carers, including calls to clarify what services are available in case of need to isolate and for more financial support for foster and kinship carers.
- Support to move more youth services and mental health/counselling services to face-to-face delivery.
- Reiterating CREATE’s call for the transition process for young people in care to be extended for at least 6 months.
ACOSS COVID-19 Advocacy
- ACOSS recovery proposals for job creation and poverty reduction.
- Briefing on Impact on Community Sector of COVID-19 and JobKeeper Payment (pdf) – 21 April 2020.
- ACOSS Statement on changes to JobKeeper eligibility for charities and not-for-profits.
- ACOSS ‘Who misses out on access to Australia’s safety net under COVID-19’ Briefing (pdf).
- 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.
- The ACOSS Coronavirus Information Hub provides a variety of resources and information for the community sector and service users, including ACOSS advocacy and support, accessing income support and services, and COVID responses and resources 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
ACT COVID-19 Helpline - 02 6207 7244
Community Services Directorate Update
How to contact CSD: The ACT Community Services Directorate (CSD) has set up a new branch structure to respond to the COVID-19 situation. Outside of existing engagement, networks or contacts with relationship managers, you can contact CSD via CSD’s [email protected] inbox. Organisations can send their COVID-19 queries to this email if they need advice or have any questions.
If there are existing mechanisms for consultation with the ACT Government that you would like to see re-established or meet more frequently, please let ACTCOSS know: [email protected] or someone from the team.
GIVIT Pre-loved IT Equipment for Clients of Community Organisations
GIVIT is providing pre-loved IT equipment to organisations across ACT for clients who are experiencing challenges with working from home, loss of income, home schooling or staying connected during the COVID-19 restrictions. Find out how to get involved with GIVIT.
Community Sector Updates
- Read this week’s ACT Corrections update for detainees (pdf) in the Alexander Maconochie Centre and detainee FAQs (pdf).
- Families ACT & the Youth Coalition of the ACT communique: Early impact of COVID-19 on the ACT Youth and Family Sector (pdf).
- Australian Government info: COVID-19 Economic Response for Not-for-Profits and Charities.
- COVID-19 Rapid Advocacy Fund.
- Office for Mental Health Newsflash for CALD Community (pdf).
- Changes to the Working With Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011 (pdf) in response to the COVID-19 health emergency.
- Letter from the Minister for Corrections and Justice Health (pdf), Mr Rattenbury MLA, in response to an open letter to Australian governments on COVID-19 and the criminal justice system
- ACT Government condemns rise in racist incidents in response to COVID-19 – media release from Minister Rattenbury and Minister Steel.
Reports of racism and discrimination in the ACT can be made directly to the ACT Human Rights Commission, by contacting 02 6205 2222 and/or [email protected].
- Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation is providing support to community members that are struggling. You don’t have to be a client of Gugan Gulwan – this is inclusive of kinship carers and foster carers. Anyone who is feeling isolated and doesn’t know who or where to turn for help, call Gugan Gulwan on 02 6296 8900.
- Legal Aid ACT’s Response to Corona-virus (COVID-19) information is available on its website.
- Legal Aid’s Family Violence Unit in full operation with free over the phone legal assistance:
- Legal Aid’s Family Violence Unit is in full operation, continuing to provide legal advice and representation to people seeking protection from family violence.
- Services remain the same, but the mode of delivery is now by telephone. This includes: telephone conferences with our clients; completing applications for urgent Family Violence Orders on behalf of clients over the phone; and Legal Aid lawyers appearing in court for clients by telephone, to apply for urgent orders.
- Clients can contact the Legal Aid Family Violence Unit by telephone on 1300 654 314, SMS on 0427 143 401 or email [email protected].
- Please note that clients are not required to submit a legal aid application form to receive this urgent assistance and advice. This assistance is completely free and confidential.
- Status of all Woden Community Service services during COVID-19.
- 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 ‘Translate’. Then click the link in the translation box to open the translated site.
- Telco COVID-19 Response – What you need to know via ACCAN.
- COVID-19 Community Services Snapshot: The Australian Alliance for Social Enterprise, based at the University of South Australia, has released its first 'snapshot' of pressure points facing community service organisations as they respond to COVID-19.
- Families ACT COVID-19 related resources (pdf) on children, young people and families.
- Social Ventures Australia has compiled a list of COVID-19 Commonwealth Government Support for Charities and Not-For-Profits.
- ACT Health: Telehealth Info and Consumer Tips.
- University of Queensland Centre for Online Health: Telehealth Guide for Patients.
- Accessing Medicines When Confined To Home.
- Protecting Older Australians: Free COVID-19 Support Line – 1800 171 866, Mon-Fri, 8.30am-6.00pm
- Additional Support for CHSP meals providers seeking to increase capacity, email: [email protected].