9 April 2020

Community Services COVID-19 Update #14

This is update 14 from WACOSS on COVID-19. We are committed to providing the WA community services sector with crucial information and high level resources as necessary, until the pandemic subsides.

Content from these updates will be posted on the Community Services Resource page on the WACOSS website.


The JobSeeker and JobKeeper legislation passed last night in Federal Parliament. This legislation will provide support for millions of workers across the country, and provides for a well overdue increase of Newstart (JobSeeker Payment).

ACOSS has welcomed the legislation, but have also pointed that there are many who are not included in this legislation and who do not have access to any kind of income support – asylum seekers, international students, and temporary migrants. They will continue to advocate for adequate support for people with disability, carers, and First Nations communities, and ensuring everybody has safe, secure housing.

In addition ACOSS have said that “our community and leaders are starting to see why it is important to have strong social and economic protections, and why job seekers can never go back to relying on just $40 per day.”


Today the WA Health Minister has announced a new campaign to support West Australians' wellbeing during the COVID-19 crisis. The 'Be Positive. Be Connected. Be Active.' campaign focuses on self-care and wellbeing strategies, and provides people ways to support each other and where they can get further help, should they need it. Read more.


The ABC has reported on the coronavirus debt 'pause' is causing confusion within Centrelink, reporting that debt recovery staff have been instructed to keep raising debts against people who have died and to undertake a range of debt recovery activities, despite the Federal Government announcing a debt freeze last week. Read more. 


Hotels with Heart is a pilot project being developed and delivered in partnership between Government representatives, business, and community sector leaders in homelessness. The project came about through one of the Department of Communities' taskforces established in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.


There are resources and support available for individual and workplace mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are just three selected resources that provide further information and reading.

  • The Australian Psychological Society has a short guide for dealing with coronavirus-related anxiety, with helpful information and links to resources. Read it here.
  • Beyond Blue has created a dedicated COVID-19 webpage with information on help to get help, and links to other resources. Visit here.
  • SafeWork Australia has provided mental health and COVID-19 guide here.
COVID-19 Resources
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