Salvation Army Assistance
Government funding is now available through The Salvation Army Doorways teams for those experiencing financial hardship caused by the pandemic - one of the many organisations offering assistance. If the coronavirus crisis has caused you to become unemployed or you have limited or no access to an income, you could be eligible for emergency financial assistance to help with rent, mortgage relief, groceries, paying bills and more. Click here for more information and an assistance form.
Mental Health Support
It’s OK not to be OK at this difficult time, and there are many organisations that can help you with your mental health and well-being. I would encourage everyone who feels their well-being has been affected to reach out to the help that is available. Support can be found here and here.
COVID Arts Grants
The government has finally released the eligibility criteria for a number of arts and entertainment grants programs it announced some time ago. While I remain critical of the extraordinary delays in publishing the criteria, it’s vital Macquarie gets its fair share of this funding.
These are the opportunities:
Support Act has also expanded its services to offer crisis relief to music industry professionals affected by the pandemic. There’s no deadline to apply, however those experiencing hardship should get an application in as soon as possible and a Support Act social worker will get in touch.
- The Live Music fund announced in last year’s budget, designed to help venues like pubs and clubs host live music – closes September 13;
- The RISE fund announced in June, to assist the staging of events through the COVID-19 recovery. Rolling applications are open until May 2021; and
- The COVID-19 Arts Sustainability Fund announced in June, for organisations that already have some funding relationship with the Department or Australia Council with insolvency issues caused by COVID-19. Rolling applications are open until May 2021.
Clinics and Testing
There are now three GP-led respiratory clinics operating across the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network, at Hazelbrook, Windsor and Penrith.
These clinics can assess people with mild to moderate respiratory symptoms such as a cough, fever, sore throat and shortness of breath. Drive-through clinics are also operating. NSW Health has published information on COVID testing and clinic locations on its website.
Case updates by Local Government Area (LGA) are available here.
Australia Post Changes
Australia Post has notified me of changes to postal services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Letters will temporarily be delivered in the following postcodes every second business day: 2753, 2754, 2756, 2765, 2773, 2774, 2776, 2777, 2778, 2779, 2780, 2782, 2783, 2784, 2785. Australia Post has told me it will continue to deliver Express Post and parcels every business day. PO boxes will still be serviced every business day.
Resources to be COVID Safe
The Department of Health has released a collection of resources to help people keep safe during the pandemic. The collection includes links to apps and other resources to help you stay informed and share important messages. It includes important information on how masks protect you and when to use them, and even how to make a cloth mask.
Aged Care Forum
I will host a virtual forum on aged care from 11am to 12pm on Thursday, August 20 with Shadow Assistant Minister for Aged Care, Ged Kearney, on my Facebook page.
The Aged Care Royal Commission has tragically confirmed what we have been saying for some time: the Morrison Government was not prepared for COVID-19 outbreaks that have impacted our nation’s most vulnerable. How and why has it been allowed to get to this point? And most importantly, what needs to be done right now to protect our older citizens? Are we prepared for further outbreaks?
I can put your questions directly to Ged on the day. Just email me at [email protected] or type your questions into the comments section during the forum, and I will get to as many as I can during the forum. Join in the discussion at www.facebook.com/susan.templeman
Other Reliable Information
The latest information about travelling interstate in Australia can be found here.
This link contains information about what you can and can’t do under the NSW Government’s latest rules.
NSW Heath has also issued guidelines for people suspected to have COVID‑19.
For further information, please see the links below:
- The Australian Government - here
- The Department of Health - here
- The NSW Government - here
- NSW Health - here
- Nepean Blue Mountains Health District - here
- Blue Mountains City Council - here
- Hawkesbury City Council - here
Recognising WWII Veterans
August 15 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII. To acknowledge the significance of the anniversary, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has produced a Commemorative Medallion and Certificate of Commemoration, which is being made available to every living veteran of the Second World War. I have been provided with a small number of the beautiful medallions to present locally. If you are a WWII veteran, or if you are the family member of a living veteran, please contact my office. Alternatively, you can apply online or phone 1800 838 372.
Hawkesbury Library Services
Hawkesbury Library Service has announced it will be offering more of its services again, with a number of COVID safety precautions in place. Bookings are now essential for all face-to-face events, and patrons are asked not to attend if they are sick. Tax help is available from August 13 through to October, or you can join a book club, research history, or knit with friends. See the library calendar for more information.
Smartphones have made our lives easier in a number of areas. Unfortunately, they also rate alongside other dangers like speeding, drink driving and fatigue, as a major cause of serious injury and death on our roads. The Australian Automobile Association and its members have researched the problem and developed Drive in the Moment, an interactive digital platform that takes young drivers on a journey to rate the risks and make a ‘mental plan’ to help put their phone away when driving. It’s a really good resource that could help save young lives.
Primary producers impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires have been given more time and wider eligibility to apply for the $75,000 Special Disaster Grant. Small businesses have also been given more time to request support, with timeframes extended for small business bushfire recovery grants and loans. Hawkesbury City Council is encouraging bushfire-impacted primary producers and small businesses to reach out and contact the Rural Assistance Authority to see if they are eligible, rather than self-assess.
The JobKeeper Payment, which was originally due to run until September 27, will continue to be available to eligible businesses (including the self-employed) and not-for-profits until March 28, 2021. In addition, from August 3 the relevant date of employment moved from March 1 to July 1, increasing employee eligibility for the existing scheme and the extension. Click here for more information.
Business support and grants information is also available here.
Telstra has been working to repair damage to two separate cables providing services to Bowen Mountain. All services were expected to be restored by August 14. Keep in touch with your service provider and let my office know if your service has not been restored.
As mentioned in my last newsletter the NBN FTTC should finally be available for Bowen Mountain and Kurrajong areas before the end of August. As always, my office can assist in escalating any complaints to the major telco providers.
Love Local Tradies
Blue Mountains City Council has launched a new initiative to help local tradespeople secure more local work. Love Local Tradies is an extension of Council’s successful Love Local campaign that launched earlier this year to assist local businesses after bushfires and then COVID-19, and it’s rolling out in two phases.
In the first phase, local tradies are being urged to register with council. Once verified, they will be listed under ‘Trades’ on the interactive Love Local Business directory map.
In the second phase (from October 2020), council will notify the tradespeople who have been listed in the Love Local Business Directory to bid for its contracts.
Keep in touch.
I hope this information has been useful. We will provide updates as things unfold. If there are specific issues you’d like information on, please do not hesitate to ask.
Federal Member for Macquarie