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The SAS Group will provide daily updates on the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia, including updates on Government and Department of Health announcements, travel and flight bans, and general media.

The New South Wales Government today announced a $14 million boost to continue to assist small businesses, and $5,000 on-the-spot fines to protect all health care staff and police.

The Northern Territory Government today announced its plan to support jobs and hospitality and community clubs during the pandemic.

In Queensland, the Palaszczuk Government has established COVID-19 guidelines to implement the moratorium on evictions, and has announced support measures for families with students learning from home. The Government has also appointed Agriculture Coordination Officers to support producers, the agriculture industry and local government to manage COVID-19.

Public transport services are set to increase in Western Australia when schools return, and the Victorian Government will share $3 million over the next two years with 12 women’s health services across the state.

The Federal Government has secured three million additional doses of flu vaccines for Australians, and the National Cabinet has agreed to release a plan to protect the lives of Australians with disabilities during the crisis. The Department of Health has released the transcripts of the Minister of Health’s interviews with various news outlets on COVID-19.

20 April 2020 

MEDIA STATEMENT: $14 million boost to continue to assist small businesses across NSW
New South Wales Government

Businesses across the state doing it tough during the COVID19 pandemic are encouraged to register for the NSW Government’s small business advisory program.

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the NSW Government was injecting more than $14 million into Business Connect to help small and medium businesses navigate this challenging time.

More information here.

MEDIA STATEMENT: Supporting jobs: planning changes to keep approvals and work running
Northern Territory Government

The Territory Labor Government is making it easier to do business in the Northern Territory with amendments made to planning rules and approvals during the coronavirus pandemic. The exceptions and amendments implemented are related to:

  • Hours of operation for food and retail businesses;
  • Medical and health facilities;
  • Working from home; and
  • Projects related to the Jobs Rescue and Recovery Plan.

More information here. 

MEDIA STATEMENT: Supporting hospitality and community clubs
Northern Territory Government

The Territory Labor Government is providing community clubs, pubs, hotels and casinos who support thousands of Territory jobs with taxation relief to support their businesses through the COVID-19 shut down.

Their gaming machine taxes due for collection for the month of March 2020 will be waived, providing businesses with additional cash flow at a time when they need it the most – allowing them to keep employees on and to help deal with the unplanned halt to trading.

More information here. 

19 April 2020

MEDIA STATEMENT: Fair middle ground reached on COVID-19 guidelines for property owners and tenants
Queensland Government

The Palaszczuk Government has worked with industry stakeholders to establish Guidelines to support Queensland’s approach to implement the moratorium on evictions decided by National Cabinet.

Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said that the government had taken into account concerns from Queensland property owners and tenants; and was bolstering its support to make sure that everyone could get through this difficult time.

More information here.

MEDIA STATEMENT: Support for every family
Queensland Government

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has praised families, teachers, principals and Education Department staff as Queensland prepares for a Back to School like no other.

A heroic effort in homes and schools has readied students to learn from home to further curb the risks of COVID-19 with support measures including:

  • An initial extra 5,254 laptops for families in need
  • 5,000 simcards
  • 4,000 dongles and hot spots
  • New and repurposed laptops, iPads and internet devices from the Resources Industry
  • Two new hotlines for state school (1800 570 793) and early childhood families (1800 454 639) for information and support

More information here. 

MEDIA STATEMENT: $5000 on-the-spot fine to protect all workers
New South Wales Government

Anyone coughing or spitting on any worker will face a $5000 on-the-spot fine with tough measures introduced to protect health care staff and police now extended to all workers.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said anyone at work or travelling to or from work would be protected, after several recent incidents involving retail and transport workers.

More information here.

MEDIA STATEMENT: Record 16.5 million flu vaccines to protect Australians
Department of Health

The Australian Government has secured three million additional doses of seasonal influenza vaccines to protect Australians from the flu, bringing the total number of flu vaccines available for Australians to 16.5 million for 2020.

These additional three million flu vaccines will be available through GPs and community pharmacies over April, May and June. This includes approximately two million doses of the quadrivalent vaccine, Afluria Quad® (supplied by Seqirus).

More information here.

18 April 2020

MEDIA STATEMENT: Protecting the lives of Australians with disability during coronavirus
Department of Health

The Australian Government has taken urgent action to protect the lives of Australians with disability as we continue to confront the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, National Cabinet agreed to release the Management and Operational Plan for COVID-19 for People with Disability (the Plan).

The Plan forms part of the national response developed by the Government and is aligned to the Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Coronavirus (COVID-19) with representation from a range of backgrounds including people with lived experience, Disabled Peoples Organisations, the disability service sector, the research sector, the healthcare sector including medical practitioners and nursing, disability advocates, Australian Government officials, and state and territory government officials.

More information here. 

17 April 2020 (NEW)

MEDIA STATEMENT: Government appoints Agriculture Coordination Officers to COVID-19 response
Queensland Government

A team of Agriculture Coordination Officers will support producers, the agriculture industry and local governments to manage COVID-19 thanks to the Queensland Government.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said regional economic development, extension, research and biosecurity staff were available as Agriculture Coordination Officers to ensure rapid assistance during these unprecedented times.

More information here.

MEDIA STATEMENT: Public transport services to increase when WA schools return
Government of Western Australia

The McGowan Government will begin reinstating some of the public transport services that were recently withdrawn due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Transperth timetables are being enhanced to reflect the decision that schools will reopen for the second term.

From Monday May 4, Transperth services will move from the current arrangement to one which represents 70 per cent of the normal weekday timetable, plus school services (route deviations and school specials).

More information here. 

MEDIA STATEMENT: More funding to keep women and children safe
Victorian Government

Women experiencing or at risk of family violence will continue to get access to the services they and their children need, with a two-year funding package for women’s health services across Victoria.

Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams today announced 12 women’s health services across the state will share in $3 million over the next two years to continue their work in preventing family violence.

More information here.

The Hon. Greg Hunt MP’s interviews with various news outlets on COVID-19
Department of Health

Transcript for Doorstop interview.

Transcript for interview with The Project.


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