STATE AND TERRITORY GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE
What do the changes mean?
It is worth keeping up to date with financial assistance measures that may be available in your State or Territory.
What do you do differently?
Keep the summary handy in case you need to tell a client about specific assistance that might help them.
Page last updated on 08/07/2020
Australian Capital Territory
- Rates and land tax: rebate of $150 on rates bills for 2020-21 and access to a 12-month deferral on rates when in financial hardship due to the pandemic. See detailed changes under Rates
- Residential tenancy: Incentives for landlords to reduce rents by at least 25 per cent for tenants affected by COVID-19. See detailed changes under Rent
- Vehicle and public transport fees: The government will freeze all charges for vehicle registration, parking and public transport at 2019-20 levels
- Utilities: An additional rebate of $200 on electricity bills is available for households already receiving the Utilities Concession. See detailed changes under Utilities
Resource: Full list of ACT government assistance: ACT Economic Survival Package.
New South Wales
- Working fund: $1 billion working fund to create new jobs and retrain employees
- Increased flexibility for long service leave: Increased flexibility on access to long service leave to access this leave during the pandemic
- Rent: Up to six months’ moratorium (to be introduced) on residential tenancy evictions for tenants financially disadvantaged by COVID-19. See detailed changes under Rent
Resources: NSW Government Covid-19
- A home improvement scheme with vouchers for:
- $4000 if the home-owner contributes at least $1000
- $6000 if the home-owner contributes at least $2000
The NT government has announced assistance for tenants but as yet has not provided further detail
Worker and wellbeing fund for people who have lost their jobs or have reduced income because of COVID-19 and are not already receiving financial support, including Centrelink.
- A land tax rebate of 25 per cent is available for landlords with tenants financially affected by COVID-19. The rebate is required to be passed on to the tenant in rent relief. To apply for the rebate, the landlord must commit to these leasing principles, which provide protection from eviction. For further details see Rent
- COVID-19 rental grant is a one-off payment of up to four weeks’ rent (maximum of $2000). It is for people who need it most and have exhausted other options. For full details see Rent
- Unpaid pandemic leave for two weeks is now available along with the ability to take annual leave at half pay
- The 2020-21 Cost of Living Concession will receive a one-off boost of $500 for households receiving the JobSeeker Payment. Applications must be submitted before 31 October 2020. If the person has previously applied and their financial situation has not changed, there is no need to reapply. The application form is available here.
- The government has announced changes for rental agreements, which include a short-term moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent due to severe financial distress as a result of COVID-19. For further details see Rent
- Tenants are protected from eviction during the emergency period (until 30 June 2020. This may be reviewed and extended. For full details see Rent
- Accommodation support for individuals and families who have been placed in quarantine but are unable to return to their usual place of residence
- Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants are available. Up to $250 for individuals or $1000 for families with a Health Care card or a Pensioners Concession card and those on low incomes who can demonstrate a need for financial support (including casual workers and temporary visa holders)
- The Covid-19 Rent Relief for Tenants program provides a one off payment up to $2000 paid directly to landlords or their agents who have entered into a temporary rent reduction agreement to keep tenants securely housed. For further information see fact sheet
- Accommodation support for frontline health workers to stay away from home if their family is ill
- Assist temporary visa holders to travel home if safe to do so
- Significant support for business affected by the pandemic from the Victorian Government including $20,000 grants through the business support fund. See the Business Survival and Adaptation Package.
- New laws are being introduced in Victoria to protect tenants from eviction and to enable a tenant to negotiate a rent reduction if they are in financial hardship due to the pandemic. For further details see Rent.
- A rent relief grant is available for Victorians experiencing rental hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. See Rent.
- The Victorian Government has introduced a one-off $1500 payment for Victorian workers required to quarantine at home because they are either diagnosed with COVID-19 or are a close contact of a confirmed case. See Coronavirus (COVID-19) Worker support payment for eligibility criteria and details on how to claim.
Legislated changes to assist tenants include a moratorium on evictions for six months. For full details see Rent