Wheatland State School’s sign is echoing a message we can all relate to at the moment
April 8, 2020

During this coronavirus health crisis, people are rightfully worried about their jobs and their loved ones.

We need to do everything we can to help each other to help flatten the curve to save the lives of fellow Australians.

Queenslanders must, and will, come back from this.

I really liked the message on the sign at Wheatlands State School – Separated But Still Together.

It’s a sentiment I’m sure most of us are feeling.

Here are links to important information which I hope you find helpful.

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Whole of Population Telehealth

To provide continued access to essential primary health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government is expanding Medicare-subsidised telehealth services for all Australians and providing extra incentives to general practitioners and other health practitioners.

The new arrangements commenced on Monday, March 30 and will be in place until September 30.

This will take pressure off hospitals and emergency departments.

Whole of population telehealth will allow people to access essential health services in their home and will support self-isolation and quarantine policies to reduce risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19.

It will also help vulnerable doctors to continue to deliver services to their patients.

The Federal Government will also be doubling the bulk billing incentive for GPs, both for face-to-face and telehealth services, during the course of the COVID-19 response.

Doubling the bulk billing incentive will facilitate sustainable support for providers, and ensure concession and other vulnerable patients who need services continue to be provided with free, timely and appropriate access.

Please talk to your regular doctor about your most appropriate course of care, whether it should be via telehealth or face-to-face.

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Coronavirus App

Stay up-to-date with the latest information and advice through the new Australian Government Coronavirus app:

A new WhatsApp channel has also been launched to supply you with the latest information.

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Jobkeeper Package

The Prime Minister has announced $130 billion over the next six months to support the jobs and livelihoods of an anticipated six million Australians who will need help.

Employees will be given $1500 a fortnight as a “job keeper” payment, funded by the government.

It will be available to full and part time workers and sole traders.

This also applies to not-for-profits, temporary visa workers and permanent casuals.

Register your interest with the ATO by clicking here

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Income Support For Individuals

Temporary expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight.

This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories.

These changes will apply for the next six months.

You can get a PDF fact sheet by clicking here

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Early Access To Superannuation

Individuals affected by the Coronavirus can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.

You can get a PDF fact sheet by clicking here

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Providing Support for Retirees

Helping retirees to manage the impact of volatility in financial markets on their retirement savings by temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements.

The Government is also reducing social security deeming rates in recognition of the impact of the low interest rates on savings.

You can get a PDF fact sheet by clicking here

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Payments To Support Households

These payments will provide assistance to lower income Australians, including pensioners, other social security and veteran income support recipients and eligible concession card holders.

You can get a PDF fact sheet by clicking here

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Cashflow Assistance for Businesses

This assistance will assist businesses to manage cashflow challenges and help businesses retain their employees.

These two measures are designed to support employing small and medium sized businesses and to improve business confidence.

The Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure also supports the activities of not-for-profits (including charities) at a time where they are facing increased demand for services.

You can get a PDF fact sheet by clicking here

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Temporary Relief For Financially Distressed Businesses

The economic impacts of the Coronavirus and health measures to prevent its spread could see many otherwise profitable and viable businesses temporarily face financial distress.

It is important that these businesses have a safety net to make sure that when the crisis has passed they can resume normal business operations.

One element of that safety net is to lessen the threat of actions that could unnecessarily push them into insolvency and force the winding up of the business.

You can get a PDF fact sheet by clicking here

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Assistance For Severely Affected Regions And Sectors

The Government has set aside $1 billion to support communities, regions and industries most significantly affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.

These funds will be available to assist during the outbreak and to help with the recovery.

You can get a PDF fact sheet by clicking here

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Supporting The Flow Of Credit

The Government, Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority have taken coordinated action to support the flow of credit in the Australian economy, in particular for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Timely access to credit is vital to help SMEs get through the impact of the Coronavirus.

You can get a PDF fact sheet by clicking here

[Photo: Nanango Electorate Office]


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