Anglicare Australia launches COVID-19 Announcement Tracker
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been multiple announcements made by the Federal Government and National Cabinet. Many of these are relevant to our work, and several initial announcements have been updated and revised multiple times already.
To help our members track these measures, we have prepared a COVID-19 Announcement Tracker. The document brings together announcements relevant to the Anglicare Australia Network. It also includes the dates of the announcements, and the dates of any revisions to these announcements, to help ensure you are getting the most current information.
This document focuses on announcements made by the Federal Government and National Cabinet. In the coming weeks, we will include relevant announcements from States and Territories. We expect to update this tracker once a week, but may make more frequent updates if there are major announcements affecting our Network and its work.
Click here to download the Anglicare Australia COVID-19 Announcement Tracker.
COVID-19 media updates now available for Anglicare Australia members
To assist Anglicare Australia Network members to stay up to date on the latest news during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be collating a major news stories each day.
Anglicare Australia will send these daily updates to member CEOs, and to members of the Anglicare Australia the Media and Communications Network. The updates are also open to anybody else who works in the Anglicare Australia Network.
If you would like us to include any additional members of your team, please forward their details to Anglicare Australia’s Director of Media and Communications, Maiy Azize.
To subscribe to daily news updates during the COVID-19 pandemic, email [email protected].
Anglicare Australia helps secure moratorium on evictions – but more action needed
Anglicare Australia has said that the moratorium on evictions, announced by the Prime Minister, was a good start for renters.
“This announcement means that renters cannot be evicted because of financial stress. This is a major step forward,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.
Anglicare Australia is now awaiting the detail of how this will be implemented by states and territories. Although tenants cannot be evicted because of financial distress, tenants can still be evicted for no reason at all in most parts of the country. Tasmania has now announced that it will halt no-grounds evictions in the wake of this agreement and we hope other states and territories will follow this example.
Anglicare Australia has also expressed disappointment that the Code of Conduct for leases, announced this week, left out residential renters.
“The Code of Conduct was a lost opportunity to provide fairness and clarity to renters once and for all.
“State and territory leaders have now agreed to rent relief for commercial tenants, helping them avoid a debt trap. Residential renters trying to keep a roof over their heads deserve the same respect. Mounting debts for renters would be a recipe for disaster.”
Click here to read Anglicare Australia’s media release on the announcement of the moratorium, and here to read our call for more relief. Click here to read our earlier call for the moratorium.
Anglicare Australia calls for more support for aged care in the wake of COVID-19
Anglicare Australia has joined a group of five aged care industry bodies to say that the government’s $445 million funding boost is not enough for already struggling providers to maintain essential services during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Government announced a second aged care funding package, adding to the $101 million announced on 11 March. It includes a retention bonus for residential and home aged care workers; support continuity of workforce supply; and a temporary funding increase to the viability and the homeless Supplement.
The alliance of provider and advocacy bodies includes Anglicare Australia, Aged and Community Services Australia, Leading Age Services Australia, Aged Care Guild, and Baptist Care Australia. The group welcomed the additional support for the sector, but noted that it falls short of what already financially distressed providers require to maintain all essential aged care services during COVID-19.
Click here to read more about our joint statement.
New emergency relief funding announced
On 29 March, the government announced that $200 million will be provided to support charities and other community organisations which provide emergency and food relief as demand surges as a result of coronavirus. Anglicare Australia has since met with the Minister Ann Ruston and is working on a model for delivery with six other providers.
The funding will boost support to services where demand is quickly increasing, including:
- Emergency Relief
- Assistance for food relief
- Services through the National Debt Helpline
- Financial counselling
- Expanding access no interest loans
Click here for more information on the announcement.
Wage subsidies are only the start
Anglicare Australia has said that the government’s wage subsidy is a good start – but more must be done to support those in need.
“Countless Australians work in industries that have been hit by this crisis. We must make sure they don’t miss out on the wage subsidies announced by the government,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.
“Millions of people across the country are in casual work – but many will be left out of these subsidies. Only those who have been in their job for a year or more will qualify. Others might be left out if their employer doesn’t opt-in, or find that the amount is too low.
“This announcement is a great start. Now we need to make sure that everyone who loses work gets the same, strong assistance from government.”
Click here to read Anglicare Australia’s media release. More information about the JobKeeper Payment is available here.
Charity workers must not be left out of JobKeeper payments
Anglicare Australia says the government’s JobKeeper wage subsidy could leave thousands of charity workers behind.
“Charities are seeing huge falls in their income – but the JobKeeper scheme will still leave many of their workers out,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.
“Charities are run differently from businesses. Our budgets are not just about simple profits and losses. Grants that are used to carry out one aspect of our work can’t be used to fund another aspect of our work.
“That means that if we’re seeing major losses in our childcare services or from our op shops, we can’t prop them up with funding from other grants. These losses mean that some charities will have to stand down a huge number of workers – but still won’t be eligible for the JobKeeper payment.”
Anglicare Australia is working with the government on options for charities as the subsidies are implemented.
Click here to read Anglicare Australia’s media release.
Government temporarily doubles unemployment payments
The government has temporarily doubled JobSeeker payments (previously Newstart) in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, including some related payments.
Anglicare Australia has campaigned for a raise to the rate of Newstart for years, and welcomed this change. However Anglicare Australia is concerned that many cohorts have been left out of the increase.
“The doubling of Newstart will give badly needed relief to those who need it most. But pensioners, people with disabilities, carers, and migrants have all been left out of payment increases. We hope the government will correct this as soon as it can,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.
“People will be recovering from this pandemic for months and years to come. It’s shown us that we need a safety net that works all the time, and payments that support people whenever times get tough.
“That’s why we’ll keep pushing for a permanent raise to the rate of Newstart, a stronger wage subsidy, and a system that treats people with respect at all times.”
Click here to read Anglicare Australia’s media release. More information about the JobSeeker Payment is available here.
Time to guarantee every Australian a basic income
Every Australian must be guaranteed a basic income to assist during this unprecedented public health challenge. Anglicare Australia has called on the Federal Government to overhaul its income payments in this time of unprecedented health and economic crisis.
“Every Australian who is currently unemployed or becomes unemployed in this crisis should receive the same assistance from government, and those payments must be much higher than the current poverty trap,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.
“Last year the ABS reported that Australia now has more employed people without leave entitlements than with. This puts us in an appalling position to deal with the public health crisis facing us.
“The saying is, “in crisis, opportunity”. This pandemic is an opportunity for the Federal Government to provide vital economic stimulus and to keep Australians healthy and safe by guaranteeing enough income for those who are most vulnerable, protecting the health of everyone.”
Click here to read Anglicare Australia’s media release.