My team and I are working with the government to help the Warringah community and Australia get through this crisis.
On March 29, the Australian Government announced new gathering rules:
- Public gatherings, excluding household members, have been reduced to a maximum of two people.
- Everyone should stay home unless you are: shopping for essentials, receiving medical care, exercising or travelling to work or education.
- People aged over 70, aged over 60 with pre-existing conditions, or Indigenous people aged over 50 should stay home wherever possible for their own protection.
Enforcement rules for NSW
On March 31, the NSW government issued its enforcement rules. You can visit the website HERE
On March 23, the Federal Government temporarily shut down the following non-essential activities and businesses:
- Pubs, registered clubs
- Gyms, indoor sporting venues
- Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
- Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
- Religious gatherings, places of worship (excluding small weddings and funerals that comply with the 4m2 rule, which can proceed).
On 26 March, these restrictions were extended to the following facilities:
- food courts (except for take away)
- auction houses, real estate auctions and open houses
- personal services ( beauty, nail, tanning, waxing and tattoo salons)
- Spa and massage parlours, excluding health related services such as physiotherapy
- amusement parks, arcades and play centres (indoor and outdoor)
- Strip clubs, brothels and sex on premises venues.
- galleries, national institutions, historic sites and museums
- Health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre and spin facilities, saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres and swimming pools
- community facilities such as community halls, libraries and youth centres, RSL and PCYC
- Gaming and gambling venues
- Indoor and outdoor markets (excluding food markets). States and territories will make their own announcements about this.
For information on weddings, funerals and outdoor recreation activities click HERE
For more detailed information from the Australian Government about gathering restrictions click HERE
If you are renting
Evictions will be put on hold for 6 months by the states and territories. Landlords and renters are encouraged to talk about short term agreements. You may also be eligible for Rent Assistance. For more information go to Services Australia HERE
Zali Steggall MP wrote to the Treasurer calling for urgent rent relief. You can read the full letter CLICK HERE
The letter calls for two potential solutions for helping those who need rent relief:
Rent holidays: providing a window of time where renters are exempt from rent payments, though I recognise the supply chain is long here and this may put landlords in a difficult position despite mortgage breaks from the banks.
Partnership model: A partnership model where renters, landlords and government each bear some responsibility for the cost in a time limited fashion. Such a partnership would entail the Government underwriting one third of commercial rent, the business continuing to be responsible for one third of the rent, and the landlords contributing to one third of the rent while the coronavirus restrictions remain in place on that industry.
Stimulus Packages for Businesses and Households
On 30 March, the Federal Government announced $130 billion Job Keeper payment. For more information click HERE
Federal Government's Stimulus Package
The Australian Government has announced its stimulus package to address the economic effects of the COVID-19. The package is a measure that we hope will help constituents and businesses in Warringah get through this difficult time. Of particular note, small businesses, tradespeople and social security recipients (including pensioners) will benefit.
The Government will be providing up to $100,000 for eligible small and medium sized businesses and non for profits that employ people. The payment will be delivered by the ATO as an automatic credit in the activity statement system from 28 April 2020 upon employers lodging eligible upcoming activity statements.
Find out more HERE
On 27 March the NSW government offered its second Stimulus Package and Rent Relief
Here are the details of the NSW second round of stimulus for the website and any constituent inquiries.
Key measures include:
NSW Government support for Business
- The creation of a $1 billion Working for NSW fund to sustain business, create new jobs and retrain employees. The fund is already being put in to action with 1000 new staff for Service NSW announced this week to be funded by the program. The Working for NSW fund will comprise $750 million in new funding and $250 million announced last week for additional cleaning services
- Deferral of payroll tax for business with payrolls over $10 million for six months (up to $4 billion deferred). Businesses with payrolls of $10 million or less received a three-month waiver on payroll tax in the first package. These businesses will now get an additional three month deferral as well
- Deferral of gaming tax for clubs, pubs and hotels, and lotteries tax for six months, conditional on these funds being used to retain staff. This improves liquidity and helps these businesses stay afloat
- Deferral of the parking space levy for six months
- Deferral of rents for six months for commercial tenants with less than 20 employees in all Government-owned properties.
NSW Government helping most vulnerable
- $34 million boost in funding to prevent homelessness
- $30 million to boost the Energy Accounts Payments Assistance scheme
- $10 million to support charities and $6 million additional funding for Lifeline’s operations in NSW.
17 March First Round NSW Government Economic Response
Getting early access to your superannuation
You can gain early access up to $10,000 of your superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. Find out more HERE
Changes to Services Australia
Services Australia and Centrelink have have announced a number of changes to payments. Newstart has been replaced with JobSeeker, while a number of other payments have also changed.
JobSeeker Payment started on 20 March 2020. It’s the main income support payment if you’re between 22 and Age Pension age.
When JobSeeker Payment started, other payments stopped or closed to new claims. The payments affected are:
- Newstart Allowance
- Sickness Allowance
- Wife Pension
- Widow B Pension
- Bereavement Allowance.
You may also be eligible for Rent Assistance.
For more information go to Services Australia HERE
Reserve Bank of Australia
On 19 March, the RBA agreed to the following comprehensive package to support the Australian economy through this challenging period:
- A reduction in the cash rate target to 0.25 per cent.
- A target for the yield on 3-year Australian Government bonds of around 0.25 per cent.
- A term funding facility for the banking system, with particular support for credit to small and medium-sized businesses.
- Exchange settlement balances at the Reserve Bank will be remunerated at 10 basis points, rather than zero as would have been the case under the previous arrangements.
Financial help from your Bank
Australian banks have hardship teams ready to help you, depending on your circumstances.
Assistance could include:
- deferring loan payments,
- waiving fees and charges,
- helping with debt consolidation,
- waiving penalties for early withdrawal of a term deposit or
- deferring upcoming credit card payments and increasing emergency limits
The Australian Banking Association has more information HERE
For more detail on Stimulus Packages for Warringah residents click HERE
Northern Beaches Council response to COVID-19
- Business support plan HERE
- Community Support package is HERE
- For more Information on what the Northern Beaches Council is doing click HERE
North Sydney Council COVID-19 response https://www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/Council_Meetings/Council_News/Latest_News/Updates_on_COVID-19_coronavirus
Mosman Council COVID-19 response https://www.mosman.nsw.gov.au/news/2020/03/18/councils-response-to-covid-19
What is COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection. It was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.
Other coronaviruses include Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly.
There is a National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It also offer translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
Federal Health Department
The World Health Organization has announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic. Find out how the government is monitoring and responding to the outbreak, how you can help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia, and what to do if you have symptoms. For the latest information on Health Alerts go to www.health.gov.au
NSW Health Department
For the latest information and advice on isolation and social distancing click HERE
If you develop a fever, a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath within 14 days of overseas travel, seek medical attention.
Where to get tested
- Northern Beaches Hospital, 105 Frenchs Forest Road (West), 9:30am-6pm, 7 days
- Mona Vale Hospital, Coronation Street, Mona Vale, 10am-6pm, 7 days
- Royal North Shore Hospital, Reserve Road St Leonards, 8am-10pm 7 days
Smart Traveller Advice
For the latest information on affected destinations click www.smartraveller.gov.au
24-HOUR Consular Emergency Contact
1300 555 135
+61 2 6261 3305
SMS +61 421 269 080
Representing you to the Federal Government
I will be raising issues with the relevant Federal Ministers about how business, schools and mental health will be addressed by the government as we continue to be affected by COVID-19.
On 19 March, I wrote to the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg asking him to consider specific measures to assist communities like the Warringah electorate in the stimulus package to be presented to Parliament on Monday March 23. The FULL LETTER can be found HERE.
1. Provide a direct cash payment to households capped at a certain income threshold, including all new applicants to Newstart
2. Provide Newstart to all new applicants without questioning the cause of their unemployment and removing the mutual obligations for at least three months
3. Work with all State Governments to provide utilities relief for both businesses and households
1. Provide targeted tax refunds for business in respect of their losses. This would be an important business continuity measure that would bring forward deductions for losses rather than the business having to wait for a return to profitability
2. Government support for interest free loans for businesses and wage subsidies for up to six months
3. Work with all State Governments to issue rent and mortgage holidays or discounts for small businesses
HEALTH AND EDUCATION
On 19 March, I also wrote to the Minister for Health Greg Hunt and the Minister for Education Dan Tehan on behalf of many concerned parents and teachers in the electorate to seek clarification of the risk of infection and transmission to children and the reasons for schools remaining open.
There is also a lot of concern about the risk this poses to teachers and educational staff. There remains some discrepancy between recommendations for workplaces and what is occurring in school which is resulting in a high level of concern and confusion. Read my FULL LETTER here.
Community Initiatives in Warringah
We are hearing some great ways to support Warringah community groups and initiatives including:
Meals on Wheels NSW are asking for any unopened hand sanitiser to please be donated. Within Warringah there are two Meals on Wheels locations in Manly and Mosman. They are asking to call ahead of dropping off your donation.
Manly Seniors Centre (02) 9976 1469
Mosman Meals on Wheels (02) 9978 4130
Belle Property Manly are offering bags to be dropped off to elderly people in the community
If you know of any elderly on the Northern Beaches who may need a bag of groceries, prescriptions, or a delivery of some sort and are not feeling confident about going out, please get in contact with the Belle Property Manly Team; we’d love to help! We will be getting in touch with those nominated who require assistance, to set up a time to pickup/drop off any required items, leaving it at their doorstep (ensuring we keep a safe social distance), then letting them know we have dropped off their goods. Please get in touch on 9976 6444 or email email@example.com to help us help those who need it most in these difficult times!