Find the latest updates and news on COVID-19 for the community services sector here.
Latest updates on JobKeeper payments
The threshold for the JobKeeper subsidy for charities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission (ACNC) has changed. All charities will now be eligible for JobKeeper payment if they estimate their turnover has or will likely fall by 15 per cent. This has been lowered from 30 per cent for other small and medium-sized businesses. For more information, read the updated JobKeeper payment fact sheet.
Latest updates on applying for Centrelink payments
For people already getting income support payments you don't need to do anything.
If you do not have a Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN) you don't need to visit a Centrelink Service Centre to make a claim. You will need to set up a myGov account linked to Centrelink and you'll need to call Services Australia on 132 850 to get a Customer Reference Number (CRN). The job seeker line hours of operation have been extended from 8:00am to 8:00pm on weekdays and 9:00am to 5:00pm on weekends.
Australian Government updates
Find links to the latest essential information on the Australian Government website
8 April 2020
$130 billion JobKeeper payment passes the parliament. Read the media release.
7 April 2020
National Cabinet announced a mandatory code for commercial tenancies, including that rent would be lowered in line with a business’ loss of income. Read the media release.
2 April 2020
Around one million families will receive free child care during the coronavirus epidemic. The government will pay 50 per cent of the sector's fee revenue as long as services remain open and do not charge families for care. The Government will also provide $453.2 million for preschools in 2021 to support almost 350,000 children to attend preschool. Read the media release.
29 March 2020
$1.1 billion to support more mental health, Medicare and domestic violence services
More help will be given to millions of Australians battling the devastating impacts of coronavirus with a $1.1 billion package which boosts mental health services, domestic violence support, Medicare assistance for people at home and emergency food relief.. Read the media release.
Information for schools and universities
- Information for schools and early childhood centres, students and their parents
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for universities, higher education and vocational education facilities, their students and staff
Information for aged care and older Australians
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for families and residents on restricted visits to residential aged care facilities
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for older Australians
9 April 2020
Special COVID-19 protections for residential tenants and owners
The Queensland Government has unveiled a package of measures to implement the freeze on evictions due to rent arrears for Queensland tenants impacted by COVID-19. Read media release.
Protections for retail and commercial tenants
Commercial and retail tenants will be protected from evictions under a series of measures to protect businesses and jobs. The measures will be underpinned by $400 million in land tax relief for property owners, which must be passed on to tenants. Read media release.
8 April 2020
$5.5m to boost domestic violence services during CVID-19 pandemic
The Queensland Government is taking urgent action to support domestic and family violence victims with the immediate injection of almost $5.5 million to help manage an anticipated increase in demand for services arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the media release.
7 April 2020
COVID-19 support for Queenslanders with disability
Queenslanders with disability are being supported through the COVID-19 outbreak, with the Queensland Government and partner organisations working together to ensure vital services remain available and key information is accessible. Queenslanders with disability, who don’t have carers, family or friends to assist them, are encouraged to phone the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 to request essential food, household items, and medicines. Read the media release.
26 March 2020
State Government joins forces with industry to support small business
The state government is increasing its efforts to help small business during the COVID-19 pandemic by partnering with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) to deliver widespread assistance throughout the state. Read the media release.
24 March 2020
Palaszczuk Government unveils $4 billion package to support health, jobs, households and Queensland businesses
The state government will invest an additional $4 billion in measures to support Queenslanders’ health, their jobs and businesses.
As part of the Queensland Government's COVID-19 economic relief package, all Queensland households will receive a $200 rebate (including the $50 Asset Ownership Dividend already announced) to offset the cost of water and electricity bills. The rebate will be automatically applied through household electricity bills. Read the media release.
Applications are open for Queensland COVID-19 jobs support loans for Queensland businesses and non-profit organisations financially affected by COVID-19 to retain employees and maintain their operations. Apply online
The Queensland Government's small business hotline is providing support to help small businesses and not-for-profits including case management and referrals to financial mentoring and business planning.
Call the small business hotline on 1300 654 687.
Queensland Department of Health
Queensland Health website is the best source of health information for Queenslanders. For the most recent media release visit the Queensland Health media release page.
31 March 2020
Home confinement directions
All people must stay in their homes except for: shopping for essentials - food and necessary supplies; medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements; exercise with no more than one other person (unless from your household); providing care or assistance to an immediate family member; and work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely. This direction applies to all residents of Queensland. Read the full statement.
Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
The Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women is working with peak bodies and service providers on the best ways to provide essential services as safely as possible. This may mean changes to how services are delivered. To support funded service providers and foster and kinship carers the department has provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions relating to COVID-19. Find out more here.
Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors
COVID-19 and the Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF)
Organisations may be experiencing challenges meeting HSQF timeframes as a result of COVID-19 impacts and supports flexibility where possible. Visit the website for more information.
As the peak body for social services in Queensland, QCOSS is committed to ensuring the wellbeing of every person, in every community in Queensland. As community services focus on how we continue to provide essential service to support people and communities during this crisis QCOSS will keep you up to date with what is happening in the sector.
COSS network COVID-19 information for people in other states
- NCOSS - COVID-19 Community sector resource
- VCOSS - COVID-19 and the community sector
- WACOSS - Community Services COVID-19 responses
- TASCOSS - COVID-19 Preparation and Advice
- SACOSS - Responding to COVID-19
- NTCOSS - Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Advice for social and community services and the NT