COVID-19 UPDATE

Continuing low rates of COVID-19 infection are great to see, and we must be vigilant in continuing strong hygiene practices and social distancing to retain low infection rates. The government is increasing testing capacity and is now calling for anyone with symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath – even if they are mild – to check with their GP or attend a COVID Clinic to get tested. This is vital, as a comprehensive testing regime is vital in preventing the devastation we’ve seen elsewhere.

School starts again this Wednesday, however students don’t have to start until 11 May when schools will stage students’ attendance.

I welcome increased funding for mental health services and support. Many of us are anxious, which is not surprising in these worrying times, and it is a good idea to ask for help and talk things through. The government has also announced wider eligibility for help with energy bills HERE.

The National Code of Conduct for retail and other commercial leases has now been enacted in NSW via regulation. The regulation: HERE. I continue to call for clear guidelines that set out what are fair negotiations over rent payments between tenants and landlords and for safeguards to prevent tenants already experiencing hardship from incurring significant debt.

There are 90,000 international graduates on temporary visas in Australia who are not covered by federal income support and I am especially worried that many have lost their jobs or income and cannot get home. International students have long contributed significantly to our education sector and the wider community and we should support them so they don’t become homelessness or unable to pay bills or for basics like groceries. I have asked the NSW Treasurer to follow the lead from South Australia and Tasmania and provide emergency support so they don’t become destitute: HERE.

The Commonwealth Government should make sure that no one is left out during this pandemic. Sign the petition for income support to be expanded to refugees HERE.

The Commonwealth Government COVIDSafe app to trace contacts of those who contract the virus is now available: HERE.