As we navigate through this coronavirus pandemic, I have put together a list of handy information relevant to Northern Victorians. I hope that you will find this useful.

Things are moving fast however, and whilst we will endeavour to keep this page up-to-date, this is not a definitive guide. The Victorian Government is providing up-to-date statewide information about coronavirus through the Department of Health and Human Services website.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact my office on 1300 122 905 or email: mark.gepp@parliament.vic.gov.au.

CURRENT RESTRICTIONS

Regional Victoria is currently subject to Step 3 restrictions.

From 11:59pm on Sunday 13 September, regional Victoria moved to the third step for reopening.

  • There are no restrictions on the reasons to leave home.
  • Stay safe as restrictions ease by washing your hands regularly, wearing a face covering when you leave home, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, and keeping at least 1.5 metres from others.
  • Keep your friends and family safe by meeting outdoors. There is a lower risk of spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) between people if you are outdoors. Groups of up to ten people will be able to meet outdoors.
  • Restrictions are easing to allow for cafes, restaurants, beauty and personal care, and some outdoor entertainment venues to open. Restaurants will open in a predominantly outdoor capacity, with a group limit of 10 people, and density limits.
  • You must not travel to metropolitan Melbourne except for permitted work purposes, care and compassionate reasons or shopping for food and supplies, if necessary.
  • Face coverings must be worn by all Victorians when they leave home, unless they have a lawful exception.
  • Even while wearing a face covering, you should keep at least 1.5 metres distance between yourself and others.
  • If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) get tested and stay home. Stay at home if you feel unwell.

 

For more details, visit: www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/third-step-restrictions-regional-victoria-covid-19

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

We are living through challenging times as we navigate through this rapidly evolving global health crisis.

With uncertainty, isolation and changes to our lives, it can be overwhelming and take a toll on our mental and physical health.

Now more than ever, it is important to take steps to look after ourselves and others. Staying active, eating well, and connecting with friends and family are great ways to maintain good mental and physical health.

It is normal to feel anxious about the current situation we are all facing, but it is important to know that you are not alone, and support is available:

  • ­­­­­­­­­­­­­Lifeline Australia 13 11 14

A crisis support service offering short term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe.
www.lifeline.org.au

  • Beyond Blue 1800 512 348

Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service.
https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/

  • headspace 1800 650 893

Online and webchat support and counselling for 12-25 year olds, their family and friends.
www.headspace.org.au/eheadspace/

  • Partners in Wellbeing hotline 1300 375 330

Partners in Wellbeing is funded by the Victorian Government and is being delivered by EACH, Neami National and the Australian Community Services Organisation (ACSO)

  • MensLine 1300 78 99 78

Professional 24/7 telephone and online support and information dervice for Australian men.

  • 1800Respect 1800 737 732

Confidential 24/7 counselling, information and support for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse via phone or online chat. 1800Respect online chat.

  • Directline 1800 888 236

Confidential 24/7 alcohol and drug counselling and referral service Directline online counselling.

  • Switchboard Victoria 1800 184 527

Telephone and web counselling, information, and referral service for LGBTQI people. Phone: (3pm – 12am, 7 days a week). QLife Webchat.

Youth focused mental health and support services

 

For more information and tools on staying healthy through the pandemic, click here.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

If you are an employee or a business who has been affected by COVID-19, below is a list of the financial help available from the State and Federal Government.

 

BUSINESS

Business Support Fund – if you are Small Business that employs staff, have been subject to closure or is significant impacted by shutdown restrictions – you may be eligible for the Business Support Fund. To apply, click here.

Accommodation Support Program – Accommodation businesses in regional Victoria impacted by these cancellations can apply for direct financial support through the Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program. To apply, click here.

JobKeeper Payment – The JobKeeper Payment scheme is a temporary subsidy for businesses significantly affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) administered through the Australian Tax Office. Eligible employers, sole traders and other entities can apply to receive $1,500 per eligible employee per fortnight. To enrol, click here.

WORKERS

Working for Victoria – If you are an employer or jobseeker in Victoria, you can register your details on the Working for Victoria site to access new work opportunities. The $500 million initiative aims to help our community and contribute to Victoria’s ability to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and is dedicated support for our agriculture, food processing and critical food supply chain businesses. Further, the $2.7 billion Building Works package announced recently is providing a pipeline of Victorian projects for roads, transport, schools and other important redevelopments.  For more information, click here.

 

Centrelink – If you have lost your job, you may be eligible for the Jobseeker payment. To apply, visit them online or phone 13 28 50.

For multilingual services, phone 131 202.

RENTERS

The Victorian Parliament have passed a range of new laws to protect tenants from eviction throughout the pandemic. These laws have created a six-month moratorium on evictions, suspend rental increases and established a new dispute resolution process for tenants and landlords. More details can be found here.

The Victorian Government has established the rental assistance fund to provide a one off $2,000 grant to support Victorian’s experiencing rental hardship. This grant will ensure tenants can maintain safe, secure and stable accommodation. More information is available here.

TRANSLATED RESOURCES

Coronavirus (COVID-19) translated information for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, health professionals and industry. Information includes factsheets and promotional materials.

Coronavirus hotline: If you are concerned, call the coronavirus hotline ON 1800 675 398 (24 Hours).
Interpreting service: If you need an interpreter, call TIS National on 131 450.

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/translated-resources-coronavirus-disease-covid-19