Community eNewsletter - 6 June 2020


Macquarie Newsletter
With Jobkeeper due to end in September - only a couple a months away - small business owners and employees in the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains are understandably nervous about what the future holds.

It’s concerning that two Hawkesbury postcodes – 2756 and 2758 – are in the country’s top 10 per cent of suburbs reliant on JobKeeper.

When the pandemic began, the Prime Minister told us we were all in this in together. His message now is “in less than 100 days you are on your own”.

More information is available in this edition of the Macquarie Newsletter.

COVID-19 News
 

COVID-19 Clinics

A new COVID-19 Clinic has opened in the Hawkesbury. The GP-led COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic is located at 6 Kable Street, Windsor, and is open Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 12:30pm and 1:30pm - 5:30pm. Bookings are essential. 

You are encouraged to visit your regular GP via a telehealth consultation before booking in at a Respiratory Clinic. The clinics are in place to assess mild to moderate symptoms, including fever, sore throat, cough and shortness of breath. 

GP Respiratory Clinics are also open at Hazelbrook General Practice and Our Medical Home Jamisontown. For more information about these clinics, or to make a booking, please click here

If you would like to be tested but do not have these mild to moderate symptoms, drive through clinics are operating at Hawkesbury Showground and Penrith Club Paceway, while hospital clinics remain open at Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Nepean Hospital. For information on opening times, please click here
 

Working from home tax deductions 

If you've been working from home, you may be able to claim new deductions come June 30.

The ATO has announced temporary 'sort cut method' that applies from 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 for those who have incurred some form of expense for working from home as a result of COVID-19.

I encourage you to visit this guide  to the different supports available to you before you get your tax in. 

Mental Health 

Beyond Blue recognises and understands the feelings of anxiety, distress and concern many people may be experiencing in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19). For general information about looking after yourself during the coronavirus outbreak, visit the dedicated Beyond Blue page, looking after yourself during the coronavirus outbreak.
 

Supporting our arts industry

We have a thriving arts community in Macquarie and Labor has been calling for support for artists for months.
 
We welcome that the government has announced some support for some parts of the arts sector, but we will work through the detail to see who it will actually benefit. The largest share of the package - $90 million - is for loans, which are not likely to be viable for businesses that have been shut down for the past 90 days. There doesn’t appear to be anything that will help venues, nor visual artists, and nothing for those who had worked less than 12 months in casual jobs, which is a large portion of arts employees.
 
We will continue to advocate for a better deal for these workers. 

If you are an arts worker who needs assistance, please get in contact with my office through my email: [email protected]

And don't forget our Macquarie Mixtape! If you'd like to be featured on our playlist full of local artists, please get in touch.

Information and resources

The NSW State Government is responsible for deciding restrictions and requirements. For the latest updates, please see their dedicated COVID-19 website.

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

Business News

JobKeeper to end 

Jobkeeper is due to end in less than 100 days. For employees of a childcare subsidy-approved service – and for sole traders operating a childcare service – payments will cease on July 20.

The Hawkesbury postcodes – 2756 and 2758 – are in the country’s top 10 per cent of suburbs reliant on JobKeeper. I have had many business owners tell me that without subsidies, they would have had to have closed their businesses and are nervous that the program is winding up.

Will the business you run or work in be able to stand on its own two feet in less than 100 days? Tell me your story: [email protected]

The ATO has published a list of the latest changes to JobKeeper here. 

Getting back to work
Safe Work Australia has developed a small business planning tool to help businesses operate safely and manage work health and safety (WHS) risks from COVID-19.
 

Supporting small business 

As we move towards the new normal, it's important that we continue to support all of our local small businesses. Local eateries, retail and services can be found at the Macquarie Marketplace, which makes planning your local outings simple. If you would like to be included in the map, please get in contact with my office.

Local businesses have also lent a hand to Macquarie's artists by playing the Macquarie Mixtape in their stores. With nearly three hours of Hawkesbury and Blue Mountain's music, the mixtape is helping to promote artists feeling the pinch, and setting a soundtrack to our shopfronts. The links below make the mixtape available to download and share. 

Hang up a sign to let your customers know you are supporting local music! Please email my office for a printable sign, or drop in and pick one up. Email [email protected].

To listen on Spotify, click here
To listen on Youtube, click here

Free legal advice 
A list of coronavirus grants and support for small businesses in NSW is available here.

The latest NSW Government support for small business is available here.


Community News

NBN

How did the National Broadband Network (NBN) work for you during COVID-19?

Internet use has become even more important during the pandemic, and the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Broadband Network – of which I am co-chair – wants to know about your experience of the NBN during this time.

Not everyone has it yet, but if you do, tell us your broadband experience throughout COVID-19, whether you’re an individual, a community group or you have a small to medium businesses.

You’ve got until September 15, and can find out more here.

If you need any help, email me at [email protected]

Cuts to your ABC

It’s a fact that some Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury residents did not have any access to communication services during the summer bushfire emergency – no mobile coverage, no internet, no landlines, just a battery-powered AM radio broadcasting the ABC. That’s how they stayed up-to-date on the crisis.

Now, cuts by the Morrison Government have resulted in the announcement that the ABC will shed 250 jobs, axe the 7.45am radio bulletin, and make other savings measures.

I will be hosting a virtual town hall event to talk about the future of the ABC with Shadow Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland shortly. Details will be available on Facebook soon.
 

Talking NDIS with Bill Shorten

Our online virtual town hall events are back! On Tuesday, June 30 I will welcome Shadow Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Bill Shorten, to talk about the challenges local people are facing.

Join me from 6.30pm to 7.30pm on Facebook to chat about the NDIS.

Got a question? Email me so I can ask Bill: [email protected]
 

Pensioners Kit

We have updated our Pensioners Kit. In it, you will find current information about services and payments available through Centrelink, as well as other useful information about benefits available to pensioners. 

If you would like a copy for yourself or someone you know, please drop into my Electorate Office at 299 George St Windsor, or give us a call on 45738222 and we can put one in the post. 



 

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.

Kind regards,


Susan Templeman
Federal Member for Macquarie


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