15 April 2020

Community Services COVID-19 Update #15

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 WA Government has provided a Fact Sheet for NFP community service providers on the ERO Supplementation announced in December. Organisations whose contracts post-date 2013 won't be eligible, however WACOSS continues to work closely with CEWA to advocate for these vital organisations, and on wider ERO issues. Read the Fact Sheet.

Lotterywest have shared some general FAQs about the recently announced COVID-19 fund. The document details the types of funding available, as well as information on the application process. Read more.

The McGowan Government will introduce legislation to support local governments as they respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more.


The McGowan Government has announced new legislation will be introduced to support tenants and landlords. This will include:

  1. A moratorium on evictions for six months, with some exceptions.
  2. A ban on rent increases during the State of Emergency period.
  3. Extending fixed term leases due to expire during the State of Emergency on a periodic agreement.
  4. Allowing tenants to end their tenancy early without incurring lease-break fees.
  5. Suspending repair obligations for lessors, if there is financial hardship or a lawful restriction on movement.

Read the full media statement here.


WACOSS has been working closely with other peaks and the Department of Finance, to prepare for requests for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from the sector.

The Department of Finance, who is coordinating requests, anticipates that later this week community service organisations will be able to submit their requests for PPE via a portal. At this stage PPE is in short supply in WA and globally, and the State Government is prioritising PPE to the Department of Health. Although there are no guarantees that requests for PPE will be filled, it is expected that when stock becomes available, it will reach and meet the needs of frontline workers in the sector.

In addition, the Department of Health and Department of Finance will develop guiding principles for the use of PPE, for the varied use and need by frontline staff across the sector.


The WA Industrial Relations Commission issued a general order yesterday granting all employees in the state system up to two weeks' unpaid pandemic leave to cover periods they are required to self-isolate by government or medical authorities. This will include employees of not-for-profits that operate under the state industrial relations system and state-based awards. Read the McGowan Government’s media release on this here.


For information about the Equal Remuneration Order supplementation for eligible service providers and flexible service delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic read the Bulletin here.


At a national level, the Australian Council of Social Service continue to advocate for a range of policy platforms, to ensure that nobody is left behind. For information on the work to date, or to find out what other states and territories are doing, read more.

Disabled People's Organisations Australia have released a statement of concern about human rights, disability and ethical decision making under COVID-19. It relates to the greater risk faced by people with a disability from the pandemic and how decisions are made about access to limited critical health resources and supports that can ultimately affect who lives or dies.


St Patrick's Community Support Centre has partnered with a number of organisations to provide Doorstep Dinners to feed people in Fremantle who are vulnerable.

Partnering with Rise, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce and United Way, and with the support of the McCusker and Minderoo Foundations, to connect Fremantle locals to a network that will deliver 200 meals a day for 45 days straight to the door of those most affected by COVID-19 social isolation and distancing measures.

Doorstep Dinners brings together expertise to design and implement an innovative solution to deliver an urgent social need, while creating a positive local economic stimulus of its own. While giving back to the community, the initiative gives venues more opportunity to keep people in jobs, and to support local suppliers, such as butchers, bakers, and fresh food producers. Read more and donate to Doorstop Dinners

Shelter WA have started a Go Fund Me Fundraiser to raise urgently needed funds to pay for short-term accommodation. This accommodation would assist many people sleeping rough off the streets and to enable them to practice social distancing and self-isolation if needed. The longer term goal is to instigate the housing first model so that they can be placed into longer term secure housing. Read more about the campaign and donate here.

Anglicare WA has been tracking significant social and economic policy announcements from the State Government that relate to COVID-19. Read more.

The Youth Affairs Council of WA is working with the Department of Communities and Minister for Youth to deploy a large-scale update to the WA Youth Services Directory, which will improve information sharing for services and young people during the COVID-19 Pandemic. To update your organisation's services - including whether or how your services have changed, and your capacity to take on new clients - by using this form. Updates will automatically be carried over to this spreadsheet.

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