Jeremy Rockliff,Minister for Community Services and Development
The health and safety of Tasmanians remains our number one priority as we continue to make the transition to living with COVID-19 in our community, and our COVID-care package continues to support not only Tasmanians but also our vital community sector organisations which are delivering help to those in need.
Our COVID Care community sector supports have been very well received, with CEO of TasCOSS Adrienne Piccone commenting that our initiative and quick response to the outbreak has been described as “nation leading”, backed up anecdotally by other community organisations, including the CEO of Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania.
These initiatives include our initial allocation of $100,000 in funding for TasCOSS to distribute grants for PPE, RATS and masks which was quickly exhausted, and we responded to this strong demand with a total of just over $253,000 in funding being provided.
As well, Tasmanians living with disability continue to be prioritised in our vaccine rollout, with disability service providers and their workers having access to a dedicated contact point to access a range of advice and support, as well as making N95 masks available to people with disability on request.
Quarantine hotels continue to be available in the event of an outbreak in a shelter or for COVID-positive or isolating Tasmanians where no other option is readily available, and Family Violence Flexible Support Packages are available to support stability and safety when leaving an abusive relationship.
And for Tasmanians directed to isolate because they are symptomatic and awaiting a test, are COVID positive, caring for someone who is COVID positive, or have been advised to isolate as a close contact, our COVID-Care package supports includes continuation of funding for the Salvation Army and its many local community partners for the provision of everyday basics of food, medicines, or housing.
Affected individuals or families can access these additional supports by contacting the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738, and COVID-Care will be provided on request to those who need it through a flexible, individualised response.
While Tasmanians have demonstrated incredible resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are also providing additional funding to boost community awareness of the suite of mental health supports available, and where to go to get help, such as the Mental Health Council of Tasmania’s Check In website, and a Tasmanian Lifeline – 1800 98 44 34 – which is also available 7 days a week for any Tasmanian who may need additional help.
These supports are on top of existing individual funding for those who have lost work as a result of COVID-19.
As we continue to transition to living with COVID, the Tasmanian Liberal Government is ensuring that additional supports for Tasmanians is provided, and our COVID-care package has ensured continuity of services for our vital community sector organisations which provide this support.