Funding and ERO: ACTCOSS has received written confirmation from ACT Health (pdf) on funding including a commitment to pay Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) supplementation until the expiration of agreements in June 2022, except where funding agreements have already been re-negotiated or re-tendered to incorporate the effect of ERO increases into the wage costs of the agreement. We are awaiting a response from the ACT Community Services Directorate.
Final COVID-19 Update: This is the last foreseeable COVID-19 Update from ACTCOSS. We hope that they have been useful. Information below remains current and details ongoing services for those experiencing difficulties because of COVID-19. We will continue to share information relating to the COVID-19 response through eNotices and other communications.
ACTCOSS members update: ACTCOSS will be launching a members update similar to the COVID-19 Update in the months to come to engage with members on our advocacy. If you have any ideas for the format of this new update, please let us know.
ACTCOSS COVID-19 Advocacy
ACTCOSS have been advocating on behalf of community organisations during this COVID-19 pandemic period through actions, including:
- ACTCOSS welcomes recommendations in second COVID-19 committee report
- ACTCOSS joined with disability representative organisations and service providers to call for the implementation of the ACT COVID-19 Disability Strategy (pdf) through an action plan.
- ACTCOSS will continue to liaise with the Australian National University and Canberra Health Services on ethical decision making in access to critical care in COVID-19 and advocating for responses to be human rights based.
As always, if you would like to flag issues affecting your organisation or vulnerable communities, please get in touch with ACTCOSS at [email protected], call us on 02 6202 7200, or contact someone from the team.
ACOSS COVID-19 Advocacy
- A permanent increase to JobSeeker needed to keep 1.6 million out of poverty
- Jobs figures show importance of JobKeeper and new JobSeeker
- New report shows women with caring responsibilities at greater risk of poverty before COVID-19 and highlights risk of ‘snap back’
- Read other ACOSS media releases.
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
Disability Information Helpline - 1800 643 787: Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat-Sun 9am-7pm. The Australian Government has established a Disability Information Helpline. The helpline is not available on national public holidays.
Community Services Directorate Updates
- Canberra's Community Recovery Plan – media release, 18 June 2020
- Resources for people with disability and carers: released in tandem with the ACT COVID-19 Disability Strategy, this site contains a planning tool for people with disability during COVID-19 (pdf) and other resources and information. Carers ACT also has a resource for decision-making during a crisis (pdf).
- Information for non-Government community, disability, and health service providers in relation to COVID-19.
- How to contact CSD: The ACT Community Services Directorate 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.
Community Sector Updates
- Canberra COVID Legal Help: A new portal from Canberra Community Law, Economic Justice Australia, CARE Financial Counselling and the Consumer Law Centre.
- Submissions to the select committee on the COVID-19 response are ongoing and still being accepted. Individuals and organisations are still able to make a submission.
- ActewAGL Community Grants program – funding of up to $10,000 for local charities, low-income and NFP organisations.
- ACT Government online tools offering mental health support for local businesses and workers.
- The Federal Government have established a website providing advice for organisations working with people experiencing homelessness during COVID-19.
Financial & Emergency Relief
- Volunteering Australia: Free Meal, Emergency Relief and Accommodation Guide (pdf) – updated 18 June 2020
- Volunteering Australia: ACT Legal Services Guide (pdf) – updated 9 April 2020
- Volunteering Australia: Complaints Resolution Info Guide (pdf) – updated 9 April 2020
- Care Financial Counselling services are running at full capacity to ensure everyone has access to the vital support we offer:
- Financial counselling services for people experiencing financial difficulty. Call 1800 007 007 or email [email protected]
- The Consumer Law Centre: for legal advice around credit and debt, consumer and fair trading, and insurance. Call 02 6143 0044 or email [email protected]
- Microfinance: No interest loans programs, including a specific program for people who have experienced and left domestic violence. Call 02 6257 1788 or email [email protected]
- Education: for financial capability webinars or to access the $100 Energy Support Voucher program. Call Care’s education team on 0490 008 701 or email [email protected].
- YWCA Canberra has funding available to support community members experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This support is available to people in the ACT and surrounding region (including Queanbeyan, Yass, Bungendore, Braidwood, Cooma, Murrumbateman) experiencing financial hardship. Support types available include:
- Utility bills assistance
- Healthcare support for appointments or scripts
- Lanyon food parcels available Tuesday & Thursday 9.30am-2pm.
- Transport expenses
- Vouchers for essential household items and clothing
- Accommodation assistance (rental support or temporary accommodation)
- Education and training expenses assistance.
- Eligibility criteria apply. Please contact YWCA Canberra’s Civic office on 02 6185 2000 or [email protected] or Mura Lanyon Youth and Community Centre on 02 6185 2090 or [email protected].
- Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council’s COVID Kindness project can connect people with services that can support their clients who live in NSW during the COVID-19 pandemic. Services include collecting food, medication and other supplies, ideas for activities for fitness or for children, any concerns about friends, family or neighbours, a friendly chat about any worries or concerns. Email [email protected] or phone 1300 735 025 (select Option 2 for COVID support).
ACT Government COVID-19 Factsheets
- Rapid Response Fund (pdf)
- Client Support Fund (pdf)
- Accommodation Support Fund (pdf)
- Domestic and Family Violence Support Fund (pdf)
- Other supports available (pdf), including:
- Canberra Relief Network
- Rent relief for properties under the Housing Asset Assistance Program
- Bank payment to public housing tenants
- Distribution of PPE
- Telstra Top-Up Program.
Organisational Finance & HR
- Fair Work Australia: JobKeeper scheme – unpaid pandemic leave & annual leave changes to awards.
- Australian Taxation Office: Adjusting GST due to COVID-19.
- RSM COVID-19 Financial Reporting resources:
- People with Disability Australia: Experiences of people with disability during COVID-19 survey results.
- Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness Planning for COVID-19 (pdf).