Last Updated: 28 Mar 2020 9:19am

The health, safety and wellbeing of Tasmanians is our number one priority as we face the challenge of coronavirus. Our social and economic support package will help vulnerable Tasmanians and our community as we deal with the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporting Vulnerable Tasmanians and our Community

Additional funding for community organisations

The Government will boost its COVID-19 funding for community organisations to $5 million. This funding will enable NGOs to support vulnerable people, including:

  • an additional $1 million for emergency accommodation;
  • $100,000 to Foodbank to increase delivery and supplies;
  • $250,000 to support Meals on Wheels to assist in freezing meals for the elderly and vulnerable;
  • $156,000 for Loaves and Fishes to assist them to increase their production of ready-to-eat nutritious meals for delivery frequency across the state;
  • $100,000 to TasCOSS to ensure a joined-up and connected community sector response;
  • $250,000 in an Essential Technology Fund to be managed by TasCOSS to enable community sector organisations to access technology to continue to deliver vital support;
  • $130,000 for Volunteer Tasmania to assist in mobilising volunteers;
  • $144,000 for Hamlet in partnership with City Mission to provide food (400 meals per week for 24 weeks) for persons in hardship coming through the doors of the City Mission;
  • $65,000 to YNOT (the Youth Network of Tasmania) to develop an effective communication and marketing campaign for young Tasmanians in response to COVID-19;
  • $100,000 to the Waterbridge Food Co-operative to extend their delivery of food boxes;
  • $40,000 to Scrubby Hill Farm to ensure supplies at the Waterbridge Food Co-operative and the surrounding Huon Valley community;
  • $65,000 to COTA (Council of the Ageing) to develop an effective communication plan for older Tasmanians;
  • $65,000 to Tasmanian Men’s Sheds to help people stay connected;
  • $260,000 for Community Transport Services Tasmania to continue to maintain essential transport and deliveries for our most vulnerable;
  • $500,000 to commercial trading RSL sub branches and ex-serving organisations;
  • $700,000 for Neighbourhood Houses ($20,000 for each of the 35 Houses in the State) to support their local communities; and
  • $15,000 to National Disability Services to support those with disability face the additional challenges of COVID-19. This complements the support provided by the NDIS.

Mental health support

The Government is investing $4 million into mental health support services to plan and respond to COVID-19. This includes:

  • $875,000 to establish a dedicated 1800 phone number to allow the Tasmanian community to call in and receive psychosocial support, and provide a reach out service for older Tasmanians and industries significantly impacted;
  • $360,000 for increased capacity to provide mental health advice, support and referral for vulnerable Tasmanians living in rural areas;
  • $450,000 supporting providers to use technology to keep vulnerable Tasmanian’s connected;
  • $120,000 for targeted support for Tasmania’s migrant community regarding the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • $600,000 for increased capacity to provide mental health support for Tasmanian’s living in supported accommodation; and
  • $250,000 to adapt Tasmania’s pharmacotherapy program to the challenges of COVID-19.

Addressing family violence

The Government will provide an additional $2.7 million to address family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific measures include rapid rehousing, improved and increased services, and one- off packages to support those impacted.

Supporting our vulnerable children

The Government will provide an additional $2.5 million to enhance child safety and wellbeing, including:

  • a $260,000 ICT Fund to ensure children and young people in care have internet access and mobile technology for communication and home learning;
  • $200,000 to establish an informal kinship carer liaison and support function, providing grandparents and other informal kinship carers with access to necessary advice and support when they require it;
  • $50,000 to CREATE that will allow enhanced engagement and advocacy for children and young people in foster care, kinship care and residential care;
  • $53,000 to extend the Carer Support Hotline hours to 9am to 8pm weekdays and at other times over the weekend and public holidays;
  • $260,000 to provide a one-off immediate $200 payment to foster and kinship carers for each child or young person in their care, so families can purchase essential cleaning or hygiene products;
  • $480,000 to provide financial support to CatholicCare’s Therapeutic Residential Care Service to keep one additional house open for a six-month period;
  • $70,000 for the Flexible Active Families Fund to support children and families receiving family preservation or family restoration support through Child Safety Services or Intensive Family Engagement Services; and
  • $1.2 million for an enhanced After Hours Response Service to deliver additional after hours support to children and families at risk.

No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)

The Government will provide an extra $1 million to increase the provision of no interest loans to support low-income families obtain affordable finance for goods and services.

Supporting our sporting clubs

The Government will provide $2 million for a grants program to support the ongoing viability and operation of sporting clubs and associations impacted by COVID-19 closures.