COVID-19 Update: Monday 30 March 2020

Along with the Local, State and Federal Governments, my office is here to help during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please make sure you look after yourself and others, and adhere to the hygiene, isolation and social distancing rules. For the latest health-related information and guides to preventing COVID-19 transmission: HERE

Federal income support package:

The federal government has just announced a “job keeper” payment of  $1,500 a fortnight per eligible employee through the ATO to large and small businesses to help them keep workers in jobs. This $130 Billion package is designed to last six months. Immediate details:  HERE

24/7 Support During COVID-19 13 7788:

Service NSW has established a 24 hour/7 day a week hotline to support people and business operators throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with questions about support and government assistance, phone 13 77 88. Staff can follow up about specific concerns as well as give general information.

Support for people who are homeless:

The NSW Government has announced $14 Million to help get rough sleepers into safe shelter and $20 Million dollars for longer term housing people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, included vulnerable young people and women and children escaping domestic violence. The Department of Communities and Justice, NSW Health, the City of Sydney, and homelessness service providers are planning the urgent roll-out of this funding to help people in need as soon as possible.

Groceries for Seniors:

Woolworths have launched a Priority Assistance delivery service for elderly and vulnerable people including NSW Seniors Card holders. To apply, complete the form HERE or call 1800 000 610. Other shops like Harris Farm and Doorstop Organics also provide home deliveries.

Support for mortgages and rent:

Many people are concerned about being able to pay the rent or make loan repayments. I’ve raised these concerns with the government and am hopeful that there will be a joint Commonwealth/State/Territory package that protects both owners and renters from financial disaster.

Support for small business:

Thank you to all the Sydneysiders who have been supporting small businesses during this time. Last week I secured the ability for bars, pubs, and other licensed premises to provide delivery and take-away food and alcohol services. This has helped keep a number of small bars and other venues keep open and employing staff. Further information: HERE

Councils are joining the State and Federal Governments in providing relief to small businesses and others impacted by this crisis. Information on the City of Sydney’s $72.5 million relief package is here HERE and Woollahra Council’s HERE

Tomorrow I join local and federal representatives for a small business emergency briefing at HERE.

Support for the community:

Last week in Parliament I put on record thanks for the amazing community response during this crisis. People everywhere are looking out for each other and making relatives and neighbours are OK. People who are isolated and staying home due to COVID-19 may need social contact or help. Please think about people in your community who may need a hand, but take care to not put them at risk. My statement: HERE.

This can be a distressing time, and isolation can add to the stress. There are people available to talk to if you or someone you know needs a friendly ear or help to develop strategies to manage the rapidly changing environment: HERE