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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 Federal Government released a media statement today about the JobKeeper Payment advising employers to take steps now to be eligible for the first round of payments. Minister for Health the Hon. Greg Hunt MP announced today a $3.3 million investment to establish a rapid coronavirus Remote Point of Care Testing Program for remote and rural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.

The Queensland Government announced today they will listen and work with stakeholders to finalise the new temporary COVID-19 tenancy measures, and that the Government will take action to give business relief to Queensland café and restaurants during the pandemic.

The Government of Western Australia has launched a new and essential community shopping service for vulnerable Western Australians during the pandemic, and new Lotteries laws to protect retailers, players and the community.

In Victoria, new hospital beds will open across the state to boost pandemic capacity, and the South Australian Government yesterday announced it will build on its world-leading testing regime by launching a two-week testing blitz starting today.

16 April 2020 

MEDIA STATEMENT: Employers need to get ready for JobKeeper now
Federal Government

The new JobKeeper Payment has passed through parliament and the Australian Taxation Office is working to assist businesses to access the scheme, helping them to retain their employees.

The program will be administered by the ATO and will involve employers checking that they are eligible and then enrolling with the ATO to be paid the JobKeeper payments. Employers will receive a monthly payment for each eligible employee who was paid by the business during the previous month.

Media statement here

MEDIA STATEMENT: Government continues to listen on temporary COVID-19 Tenancy measures
Queensland Government

The Palaszczuk Government will continue to listen and work with stakeholders in the finalisation of new temporary COVID-19 tenancy measures.

Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said the underlying purpose of the moratorium is to sustain tenancies during the COVID-19 pandemic period as this is the best possible outcome for owners, property managers and tenants.

More information here.

MEDIA STATEMENT: Moves to give takeaway business relief from hefty delivery fines
Queensland Government

The State Government is taking action to ensure delivery services give Queensland café and restaurants a fair go during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said a meeting of key stakeholders would be held on Monday to address the issue of hefty delivery fees.

More information here.

MEDIA STATEMENT: World first rapid COVID-19 testing to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
Department of Health

The Australian Government is investing $3.3 million to establish a rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) Remote Point of Care Testing Program for remote and rural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Under the program, people will benefit from testing times being cut to around 45 minutes. This will be a game-changing improvement for areas such as the Kimberley where receiving a test result can currently take up to 10 days.

More information here.

MEDIA STATEMENT: Essential shopping service launches for people with disability
Government of Western Australia

Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson has welcomed a new and essential community service to be launched on April 20 that will provide vulnerable Western Australians with the support they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The essential shopping and delivery service will be provided by Cahoots Connects in partnership with the Department of Communities, National Disability Services, suppliers and retail partners, including supermarkets and pharmacies.

More information here.

MEDIA STATEMENT: New lotteries laws to further support WA community in COVID-19
Government of Western Australia

New laws to support Lotterywest retailers, players and the community will be introduced into the State Parliament today as part of further State Government measures to buffer the COVID‑19 impact and inject more relief funding into the community.

The Lotteries Commission Amendment (COVID-19 Response) Bill 2020 will provide Lotterywest with temporary powers to utilise its expertise in grant administration to assist other public authorities to provide grant programs during and after COVID-19.

More information here.

MEDIA STATEMENT: New beds open across Victoria in pandemic capacity boost
Victorian Government

New hospital beds are opening across Victoria as the state’s health system gears up to manage increased presentations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and ensure all patients get the care they need.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos said the Victorian Government’s $1.9 billion health funding boost had allowed the state’s hospitals to build more bed capacity and recommission buildings no longer used for healthcare.

More information here.

15 April 2020 (NEW) 

MEDIA STATEMENT: COVID-19 testing blitz for South Australia
Government of South Australia

South Australia will build on its world-leading testing regime for COVID-19 by launching a two-week testing blitz starting tomorrow.

The expansion of testing criteria will give symptomatic South Australians the reassurance they are not infected, while also providing public health clinicians greater understanding of the prevalence of the virus within the state so we are able to plan the next battle in the war against COVID-19.

More information here.


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