COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 RESPONSE

Register for Home Builder Program

You can now register your interest to participate in the State and Federal government Home Builder program.

Register your interest to apply for a $25,000 grant toward a new home build of up to $750,000 (including land), or significant renovations (valued between $150,000 and $750,000, where the value of the existing property does not exceed $1.5 million).

First new home buyers in South Australia will, eligible for up to $40,000 in grants towards their new home build (including the existing $15,000 State Government incentive) subject to meeting the eligibility criteria for each scheme.

Expressions of interest can be made via: http://revenuesa.sa.gov.au/generic-pages/news-articles/homebuilder-program

State Government recovery, support and financial assistance

The South Australian Government has released a roadmap for the state to recover from the Covid- 19 pandemic, with stage 2 beginning on June 2, 2020. See the roadmap here.

The government has also announced $1billion in relief measures and economic stimulus packages in response to the pandemic. 

The $650m Jobs Rescue Package includes the establishment of two new funds - the $300m Business and Jobs Support Fund and the $250m Community and Jobs Support Fund. For more information, click here.

If you have any queries in relation to restrictions and what you as an individual, organisation or business can or can't do during this period, read the FAQs. If you still have queries, our Mount Gambier electorate office is open and happy to assist you in person, via email or phone at (08)8724 9944.

For factual and up-to-date information on the latest COVID-19 statistics and cases in South Australia, visit the  SA Government dashboard at https://www.sa.gov.au/covid-19/dashboard 

Cross-border travel and essential travellers

The Emergency Management (Cross Border Travel No 3) (COVID-19) Direction 2020 came into effect on 11 May 2020, introducing a number of changes regarding essential travellers.

An essential traveller must now keep records of close contacts for a 14 day period commencing on the date of their arrival in South Australia (or, if they remain in South Australia for a period of less than 14 days, for that period).

For more information, visit the SAPOL website or to find out whether you qualify as an essential traveller, visit the essential travaller FAQs page here.  

Rent relief assistance

South Australian residential tenants suffering significant financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 restrictions may be eligible for rent relief through a $1000 grant to their landlords, under a new State Government scheme.

Up to 10,000 tenancies could be assisted under the scheme, worth approximately $10 million in rent support.

Tenants may be eligible for State Government rent relief if they are either receiving JobKeeper or JobSeeker payments, have less than $5000 in savings and are paying more than 30% of their income in rent.

Tenants can register their interest at https://treasury.sa.gov.au/Growing-South-Australia/COVID-19. Applications for the rent relief grants will open in the next 2-3 weeks and will close on 30 September 2020. 

 

Volunteer mobilisation boost 

In response to a surge in demand for the services of community organisations as a result of COVID-19, the State Government has committed $20,000 to Volunteering SA&NT to help mobilise volunteers, ensuring essential services can continue to be delivered to our most vulnerable South Australians.

To register to volunteer during COVID-19, visit www.volunteeringsa-nt.org.au, or download the free WeDo App at this link.

Open your World website launch

South Australians’ mental, physical, social and community wellbeing will receive further support with the State Government launching a new online wellbeing strategy, Open Your World.

Open Your World is dedicated website promoting wellbeing, including tips on staying fit and healthy, activities for kids as well as online resources for learning and skill development ranging from language classes to cooking courses.  

Visit the website here.

Landlords land tax relief

Residential and SME commercial tenants – including gyms, restaurants, cafes, beauty salons and hairdressers - suffering significantly as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, will benefit from immediate rent reductions as part of a land tax relief package for their landlords.

The State Government is providing approximately $50 million in emergency land tax relief for landlords which is expected to assist thousands of SME businesses and residential tenants across South Australia – bringing to $120m total land tax savings for local investors over the next year.

Under the emergency scheme, which is modelled on similar packages in New South Wales and Victoria, eligible landlords will be offered a 25% reduction on their 2019-20 land tax liability on affected properties.

Applications for the land tax relief are able to be submitted to the end of June 2020 via the Revenue SA website.

Dedicated relief hotline

The new COVID-19 Relief Call Centre is a dedicated hotline activated by the State Government, set up specifically to help South Australians on a range of issues, inlcuding personal hardship assistance, food relief, short-term accommodation advice or emotional and wellbeing support.

COVID-19 Relief Centre is run by Housing SA and operates 8am to 8pm 7 days/week: 1300 705 336.

Payroll tax relief (Up to $60 million of savings to business)

  • 6-month waiver for all businesses with an annual payroll (grouped) up to $4 million
  • Eligible businesses won’t have to pay any payroll tax from April to September
  • This measure is expected to assist up to 2,400 businesses and save them up to $84,000 over the six months (average saving $25,000)
  • Employers with grouped annual wages above $4 million able to defer payroll tax payments for 6 months on demonstration of significant impacts on cash flow of coronavirus
  • Around 4,300 businesses will be able to access this payroll deferral and is expected to increase overall cash flow by around $580 million.

Land tax relief (Up to $13 million in additional savings)

  • From July, the Government’s significant land tax reforms will kick in, delivering $189m in savings to investors and landlords over the next three years.
  • Under the new measures, individuals and businesses with outstanding quarterly bills for 2019-20 able to defer payments for 6 months (up to 28,000 private land tax ownerships will benefit)
  • For 2020-21 Land Tax Transition Fund relief will be increased from 50% to 100% based on existing relief criteria guidelines – saving some investors up to $50,000

Fees and Charges

  • Waiver of liquor licence fees for 2020-21 for those hotels, restaurants, cafes and clubs forced to close as a result of new social distancing restrictions.

Cost of Living Concessions (An estimated additional benefit of about $30 million)

  • A once-off boost of $500 and bring forward the 2020-21 ‘Cost of Living Concession’ for households who are receiving the Centrelink JobSeeker Payment, assisting those who are unemployed or lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus restrictions.
  • For eligible homeowners, their 2020-21 payment of $215.10 will now become $715.10. Eligible tenants will receive $607.60.

Access to accrued leave for public sector workforce

  • If a public servant has a family member who has lost their job and moved onto Commonwealth benefits, they will be able to receive their accrued leave down to a limit of 2 retained weeks (annual and long service leave)

Business SA support

The Business SA website has dedicated information and resources for your business to respond to COVID-19 and plan for the future.
Visit https://www.business-sa.com/covid19

The Skills for Business scheme offers small businesses up to $5000 for every new apprentice or trainee hired in SA on a paid training contract, as well as advice on how to address a business’ skills and training needs and access subsidies.

For more information about the Skills for Business package and to apply for financial support to hire an apprentice, visit skills.sa.gov.au/support

Fast-tracking infrastructure projects

$120 million of new infrastructure projects will be fast tracked, including;

  • $52 million for targeted regional road network repair and improvement, including on the Stuart Highway, Yorke Highway, Dukes Highway and Riddoch Highway;
  • $35 million to rehabilitate and resurface the South Eastern Freeway between the Tollgate and Crafers;
  • $15 million for Heysen Tunnel refit and safety upgrade;
  • $12 million for a higher capacity North-South Freight Route by-passing Adelaide; and,
  • $6 million to seal Adventure Way and Innamincka Airport Road

COVID-19 clinics and information

A series of Coronavirus (COVID-19) clinics have opened in regional South Australia as the State Government moves to further protect and prepare the community against the spread of the virus.

For more information visit the SA Health Website. 

Online education measures

Students in South Australian schools now have access to modern online learning resources to support their education at home, through the centralised Our Learning SA website.  The new site will support students, teachers and families by complementing their classroom education – through access to curated curriculum resources across all learning areas that are taught in Australian schools and preschools.

The website supports:

  • continued learning between school and home;
  • students with opportunities to work independently;
  • parents and caregivers – with resources and guidance to support learning at home; and
  • teachers – with resources to support them in teaching the Australian curriculum

Mental health support 

A new support line has been launched by the State Government to link people with dedicated counsellors to maintain their mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will be staffed by trained Lifeline counsellors, and will receive calls and also provide a call-back support service for people in distress.

The support line will provide video and phone support for people with COVID-19 who remain in isolation, people in quarantine, or anyone who is staying at home.

The support line will be staffed from 8am to 8pm and can be reached at 1800 632 753.

Tele-support for vulnerable people

The State Government is encouraging the community to register themselves, loved ones and friends for the Red Cross Telecross REDi service.

Specially trained Red Cross staff and volunteers will make the calls, asking clients questions including how they are coping and if they need medical or food supplies, as well as reiterating latest government health advice.

Vulnerable people, their friends or loved ones can register for the Telecross REDi COVID19 service by phone 1800 188 071 or register online at register.redcross.org.au

Frontline health workers boost

The State Government is boosting the number of highly skilled nurses and midwives in the health workforce as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response.

The strategy to increase nursing and midwifery workforce capacity and capability includes:

  • Rapid upskilling of nurses by working with education partners
  • Fast-tracking recruitment of nurses and midwives with a range of skills including intensive care, home care and aged care
  • Supporting student nurses to assist in key COVID-19 response functions, including as part of multi-disciplinary teams in sample collection centres, testing clinics and border screening
  • Developing innovative models of care that allow nurses/midwives to work more flexibly across a number of healthcare sites or through a hospital at home model
  • Supporting nurses/midwives through clinical mentoring and coaching
  • Investigating the capacity of part-time nurses/midwives to increase their hours.

Enforcement and fines

The State Government has stepped up measures to protect South Australians during the coronavirus pandemic by introducing on-the-spot fines for individuals and businesses who do not follow directions from the Police Commissioner under the Emergency Management Act.

From March 28, individuals failing to self-isolate as required will face a $1,000 fine and businesses flouting laws to control the pandemic will face a $5,000 fine.

You can call police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, where reports can be anonymous, to report breaches of the pandemic control restrictions.

Additional information and links

Federal Government assistance

For Federal Government funds, assistance and relief measures, visit the Australian Government website at https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

Restrictions

For the most up-to-date restrictions for businesses and individuals from the Federal Government, visit https://www.australia.gov.au/