Jeremy Rockliff,Minister for Community Services and Development
Today, we have announced that we are bolstering our COVID-Care package, which provides important social support to Tasmania’s vulnerable communities.
The Tasmanian Government acknowledges the need for additional support for Tasmanians as we transition to living with COVID, and our updated COVID-care package will ensure the continuity of services for our vital community sector organisations.
Our COVID-Care package supports Tasmanians by ensuring they can access everyday basics of food, medicines, or housing if they have been directed to isolate because they are symptomatic and awaiting a test, are COVID positive, are caring for someone who is COVID positive, or have been advised to isolate as a close contact.
We want to ensure that Tasmanians are connected to the help they need which is why we’re providing the Salvation Army and its many local community partners with further funding to ensure this vital seven-day-a-week service can continue supporting those who need it.
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.
Additionally, we are providing a new pool of ready-to-access funding which will secure day-to-day services for essential community sectors workers and volunteers, including the purchase of RATs, masks and PPE. This funding will be distributed by TasCOSS.
We also know that the national shortage of RATs is impacting our community organisations and their dedicated workers. To ensure that our community care sector can continue to provide support for our most vulnerable, organisations will now be able to contact Worksafe Tasmania to receive an initial allocation of RATs for essential workers.
For people with disability, we have moved to make N95 masks available on request through community service providers, as well as their workers or carers, and for those who are immunocompromised. Tasmanians with disability are also continuing to be prioritised in our state-based vaccination clinics, alongside Commonwealth-operated vaccine hubs and group home in-reach services, which are being progressed.
Further, disability service providers and their workers will have access to a dedicated contact point to access a range of advice and support, alongside a new information streaming service that will be established to ensure local services are provided with the latest advice and guidance.
Finally, we are providing additional funding to further boost community awareness of the suite of mental health supports which are currently available, and where to go to get help if they need it.
These new supports come on top of existing individual funding for those who have lost work as a result of COVID-19, through testing positive or isolating, which are available through Services Australia or the re-shaped Tasmanian Government’s Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grant.
We recognise that not everyone has support networks to assist them while isolating which is why it’s so important that Tasmanians continue to help each other, as they always have. Importantly, If you know a family member, neighbour or friend who is isolating, ask them if they’d like any assistance.
By working together alongside our vital community service sector, we will ensure all Tasmanians who need support, get support.