Respiratory Clinics: 28 Commonwealth GP led Respiratory Clinics in Victoria. Clinics in Victoria have assessed more than 123,000 people and conducted more than 108,600 tests (as at 3 August)
- Contact tracing: The Federal National Incident Room has a team assisting Victoria with case interviews and contact tracing. As at 3 August this team has been assigned around 816 interviews since 11 July 2020.
- Essential medical supplies: Over 8.3 million masks have been dispatched from the National Medical Stockpile to Vic Health – with more than 3 million additional masks dispatched to Victorian age care facilities.
- Support for health costs: Under the COVID-19 National Partnership Agreement, the Commonwealth has already provided an estimated $1.1 billion in funding in Victoria for specific COVID-19 health costs
- Tailored Mental Health Support from the Commonwealth Government:
- Providing 10 additional Medicare subsidised psychological therapy sessions for people subjected to further restrictions in areas impacted.
- Enabled telehealth consultations under Medicare for mental health care provided by GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists and eligible allied health workers.
- Provided $1.1m additional funding for 7 headspace sites in Victoria to assist with reducing wait times for services, and expanded the Headspace Digital Work and Study service to help young Victorians stay on track.
- Established the Melbourne-based free 24/7 Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service available via phone on 1800 512 348 or at https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au.
- Delivered free and low cost COVID-19-specific mental health services and resources online at www.headtohealth.gov.au.
- Dedicated mental health and wellbeing programs for health workers through the Black Dog Institute and the Smiling Mind App.
Support for Families
- Child Care – further measures to help families keep their children enrolled in child care in affected areas. The Prime Minister announced a “triple guarantee – for parents, for services themselves and for employees.”
- Parents will not lose their child’s place as long as they stay enrolled.
- Parents should not be required to pay gap fees when their children is absent.
- We will continue to pay Child Care Subsidies to child care facilities.
For regional Victoria, which is now under Stage Three lockdown, the Federal Government will provide an additional 30 absence days and extend the gap fee waiver for when children are absent. This provides fee relief for families so that they do not have to withdraw from care and lose their place.
After school care services (OSHC services), in regional Victoria, can be paid 15 per cent of their revenue in addition to the 25 per cent Transition Payment and the Child Care Subsidy. OSHC services in regional Victoria, that experience a drop in attendance hours to 40 per cent or less in the two-week period ending 23 August 2020, compared with their Transition Payment reference period, will receive an additional 15 per cent of the average weekly fee charged during the reference fortnight (capped at the relevant CCS hourly rate cap).
For families who are attending child care they will be required to pay their usual fees.If a child care service voluntarily closes, they can no longer receive any payments.
- Child care providers who signed up are receiving an additional Transition Payment of 25 per cent of their fee revenue during the relief package reference period (17 February to 1 March) from 13 July until 27 September, which is estimated to deliver $708 million to providers.
- Families experiencing financial hardship, for example through a loss of income, may be eligible for additional support through the Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship).
- Up to 31 December, child care services that are open in areas subject to stage 3 or higher ‘stay at home’ restrictions can waive families’ out of pocket fees for families where a child is not attending due to COVID-19.
- Up to 31 December, child care services are able to waive families’ out of pocket fees if the service is forced to close on public health advice due to COVID-19.
- We are providing about $6 million to support Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) services to continue providing care for the children of essential workers and vulnerable children.
- The activity test to access the Child Care Subsidy has been eased until 4 October to support eligible families whose employment has been impacted as a result of COVID-19. Families will receive up to 100 hours per fortnight of subsidised care during this period. This will assist families to return to the level of work, study or training they were undertaking before COVID-19.
- Under transition arrangements already in place, service fees remain frozen at pre-COVID levels.
- Pandemic Leave payment: For those who have to isolate for 14 days but don’t have any sick leave, people may be eligible for a $1,500 payment. To apply, people should call 180-22-66.
- Jobseeker and other unemployment benefits –Thousands supported by the Jobseeker payment and the Coronavirus Supplement.
- Early Release of Super: 298,400 of applications from Victorians so far for 2020-2021 and $2.6b released to date. For 2019-20, 556,700 of applications from Victorians – $4.5b released in 19-20.
- Education – Estimated $6m in Commonwealth funding to support working Victorian families impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown and help them access outside school hours care (30 July)
- Family and Domestic Violence support – To date, $14.3m has been allocated to the Victorian Government
- From 14 July 2020, a model was established for Australian Defence Force personnel to be deployed to Victoria
- As at 1500hrs on 4 August: 1,655 ADF personnel assisting efforts in planning liaison, check points, assisting Victoria Police, medical support – testing, other logistics support including:
- 256 assisting with contact tracing.
- 232 assisting with medical support (including testing)
Aged Care Support
- Aged Care Response Centre: The Commonwealth established a Victorian Aged Care Response Centre on 25 July. A total of 59 staff have been embedded (as of 3 August)
- Workforce: The Commonwealth is providing a surge workforce and supplementation support of more than 500 in aged care facilities (as of 4 August)
- AUSMAT: Specialist Medical Teams have been deployed to Victoria to support and act under the direction of the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre. 23 AUSMAT personnel on the ground – enabling the work of five rapid response teams – and just on 4 August assisted in four affected facilities. AUSMAT teams continue to help stabilise critical facilities as they are identified.
- Essential supplies: The National Medical Stockpile has dispatched in excess of 109,000 P2 respirator masks, 3m surgical masks, 64,000 goggles, 950,000 face shields, 750,000 gloves, 280,000 gowns, and 13,000 clinical waste for use in Victorian Age Care facilities.
- JobKeeper: 266,136 Victorian businesses / entities in Jobkeeper scheme – as of 30 July these Victorian businesses have received $9.1b in payments (29% of national total)
- Cash Flow Boost: 199,493 Victorian businesses supported– as of 3 August these businesses have received over $4.8b in CFB credits, an average of $24,100 for each Victorian business in the program
- Infrastructure funding: Additional $320m in Victorian infrastructure funding. ($249m for shovel ready projects, $72m for targeted road safety works). $322m to Victorian councils as part of bringing forward council grants (Financial Assistance Grants).
- Assistance for Councils: $102m for Victorian councils for Local Roads and Community Infrastructure
- Total Infrastructure Investment Program for Victoria (not just COVID-19 related): $8b over the forwards, and $22.6b for the 10-year IIP
As at 4 August, 55 APS staff have been deployed to assist Victorian agencies. Hundreds more remain on standby to assist with community engagement, should circumstances permit.