Stimulus and Support

Last Updated: 18 Nov 2020 9:46am

Last update: 29 Oct 2020 4:08pm

COVID-19 Small Business Energy Support Grant Program

One off grant payments of $1,000 are available to eligible businesses who have not been eligible for the COVID-19 electricity, water and/or sewerage wavier available from service providers from 1 April 2020.

The COVID-19 Small Business Energy Support Grant Program will open for applications at 12 noon on 31 August 2020 and remain open until 12 noon on 26 October 2020.

Go to the Business Tasmania website for more information and to apply.

Event Infrastructure and Critical Support Small Business Grant Program 

The Event Infrastructure and Critical Support Small Business Grant Program aims to assist suppliers of event services whose operations have been substantially impacted by COVID-19 related restrictions.

The $2.5 million in grant funding will support sustaining fixed costs such as wages, rent and servicing debt associated with business assets purchased before 29 February 2020. This is a competitive, merit based grant program, meeting the eligibility criteria will not guarantee the business will receive a grant.  Applications close 12 noon 13 November 2020.

Visit the Business Tasmania website for more information and to apply.

Small Business Advice for Recovery Program

Small businesses can receive a grant of $750 toward the cost of engaging an appropriate consultant to provide advice or a service that will assist the business in its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications close Monday 22 February 2021 at 12:00 pm, or when the funding has been fully allocated, whichever occurs first.

Visit the Business Tasmania website for more information and to apply.

Business Vehicle Registration Relief Package

Registration freeze for light and heavy vehicles

Small businesses looking to suspend activity due to the COVID-19 business downturn and trading restrictions can apply to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to freeze their business vehicle registrations for both light and heavy vehicles.

Registrations can be reactivated at no cost to them when the business restarts. The maximum period that a registration can be frozen is 12 months.

Heavy vehicle registration and motor tax waivers

For heavy vehicles of over 4.5 tonnes the Government will waive fees for registration and the road component of motor tax for 12 months.

Operators will still need to pay the regulatory component of motor tax which goes to fund the operations of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

Applications

Significantly impacted business owners can apply for the Registration freeze for light and heavy vehicles or the Heavy vehicle registration and motor tax waivers. Apply using the Transport Tasmania's Registration Business Support Package form.

You will need to provide details on your business registered for tax purposes in Australia and your Australian Business Number (ABN) and make a declaration that your business activities have been ceased or suspended.

Approval will be at the discretion of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

Fisheries Assistance

Payment waivers for licence fees for the next 12 months are being offered to licence holders in the following Tasmanian wild capture fisheries:

Abalone Dive Australian Salmon Automatic Squid Jig Banded Morwong
Beach Seine A Beach Seine B Clam Georges Bay North Cockle Ansons Bay
Commercial Dive Danish Seine Fish Processing Licence Giant Crab
Introduced Marine Plant King Island Kelp Limited Danish Seine Mackerel - Category A
Mackerel - Category B Marine Plant Native Oyster Georges Bay Octopus
Pacific Oyster Personal Fish Handling Purse Seine Net
Rock Lobster Scalefish A Scalefish B Scalefish C
Scallop Small Mesh Gillnet Southern Calamari Undaria
Venereupus Vessel Wrasse   

Who is eligible?

Commercial fishers and processors who hold the licence types listed above are eligible. The waiver is for 12 months and will take effect for those licences that are due for renewal after January 2020. Payments already made for those licence fees listed above in the new (2020-21) licence year will be refunded. Fee relief will be automatic at the time of the next licence renewal. Note that renewal dates vary by fishery.

When will the initiative be available?

Fee relief will be automatic at the time of the next licence renewal. Note that renewal dates vary by fishery.

When will more information be available?

An update on how these waivers will apply, and procedures for refunding of certain licence fees that have recently been paid, can be found on the DPIPWE website. Fishers can access more information by contacting the Department on 1300 368 550 or 03 6165 3000 or email fisheries.licensing@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

Licensed fishers and processors covered by these waivers will receive an email outlining the procedures from the Department.

Shellfish Industry

Shellfish marine farm licence holders will have their licence and rental fees waived for the 2020/21 licensing period. The Government will also waive the 2020/21 Shellfish Market Access Program (ShellMAP) levy for these leaseholders.

When will the initiative be available?

This initiative will apply to all lease rental fees due for licensed shellfish farmers from 1 April 2020 for a period of 12 months and to shellfish licences for the 2020/21 licence period.

How do I apply?

Renewals of shellfish marine farming licences are due at the end of April and fee relief for licenced species and the ShellMAP levy will be automatic.

An application form to waive lease rental fees will accompany licence renewal notices, which will be sent out to all licence holders.

Stay Afloat

TSIC and RAW Tas have commenced a project to address:

  1. dedicated on-the-ground support for seafood operators, delivered through the RAW Outreach Program; and
  2. relevant educational resources to encourage fishers to look out for other fishers, and mates to look out for their mates and to seek further support if needed.

See the Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council website for more information.

Local Government Loans Program

The Local Government Loans Program has been developed to assist local governments to invest and employ more staff to upgrade, renovate and to do necessary maintenance to improve existing local government infrastructure.

See the Department of Treasury and Finance website for more information.

Rapid Response Skills Initiative

The Rapid Response Skills Initiative (RRSI) provides up to $3000 towards the cost of training for people who have lost their jobs because they have been made redundant, the place they worked has closed, or the employer had to let staff go.

See the Skills Tasmania website for more information.

Enterprise Centres Tasmania

Free advice and support is available from Enterprise Centres Tasmania a state-wide network of independent business advisors. To access this assistance contact Business Tasmania on 1800 440 026 or ask@business.tas.gov.au.

For more information about specific support available visit the Business Tasmania website.

Business Growth Loan Scheme

The Tasmanian Government has announced a $60 million Business Growth Loan Scheme.

The scheme provides businesses with concessional loan funding to adapt and transition to sustainable post-COVID operating models.

Loans from $20,000 to $3 million are available for eligible businesses and new projects. The scheme is open for 12 months or until all funding has been fully allocated, whichever occurs first.

For more information visit the Business Tasmania website or call 1800 440 026.

Last update: 09 Nov 2020 2:02pm

Family Violence Rapid Rehousing Program

Family Violence Rapid Rehousing is designed to quickly help vulnerable households experiencing family violence into safe and affordable homes.

This initiative supports the expansion of the Rapid Rehousing Program which provides supported housing options for families affected by family violence allowing them to access safe and affordable rental homes. Perpetrators can also access the program to enable victims/survivors to remain in their own home when it is safe to do so.

This will provide an additional 20 properties from the private rental market.

Family Violence Rapid Rehousing will be delivered in partnership between the Tasmanian Government (Housing Tasmania and the Department of Premier and Cabinet), registered Community Housing Providers and Housing Connect.

Eligibility criteria

  • Families and individuals who are leaving a violent relationship.
  • Perpetrators who need alternative housing so the family can remain in the family home can also be assisted. In general, perpetrators may have a police order or court order in place; however, discretion can be exercised to determine appropriate assistance within the program.
  • All applicants must be 16 years of age or over and be able to live independently. They must meet the minimum eligibility requirements for social housing, with the exception that there are no income or asset eligibility requirements for Family Violence Rapid Rehousing.

For further information on this initiative read the Fact Sheet on the Communities Tasmania website or contact Housing Connect on 1800 800 588.

Family Violence Flexible Support Packages

Flexible Support Packages are designed to provide a holistic response to people experiencing family violence by assisting them to access supports when leaving an abusive relationship and will be administered by the Stay at Home Coordination Unit.

In combination with the Keeping Women Safe in their Homes program which funds property security upgrades like security screen doors and sensor lights, Flexible Support Packages of up to $3,000 will be available to purchase basic items like food, clothing, and some bills (utilities, phone), medical or pharmaceutical costs not covered by Medicare or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, relocation costs, furnishings and whitegoods to support stability and safety at home.

Applications need to be prepared by service providers working with the victim, and submitted to the Safe at Home Coordination Unit for consideration. As part of the application process, the service provider must undertake a family violence risk assessment and develop a safety plan with the victim.

Eligibility criteria

  • Victims leaving abusive relationships; and/or
  • Have recently experienced family violence; and/or
  • Are planning to leave an abusive relationship, and the perpetrator has been removed from the home as a result of a PFVO or FVO.

Priority will be given to:

  • Victims and children at high risk of experiencing family violence.
  • Victims experiencing significant financial hardship.

Flexible Support Packages are not accessible to victims who wish to continue their relationship with the perpetrator of the abuse.

For more information visit the Safe At Home website.

Local Government - Council Support Measures

Local Government is ensuring essential services continue to be delivered to communities by offering a range of measures that may include flexible payment options, rates discounts, rates rebates, rate relief, grants and other hardship provisions.

For more information about the support measures being offered by local councils visit the Local Government Association of Tasmania’s COVID-19 webpage.

Supporting our veterans

Grants of up to $10,000 are available to eligible RSL sub-branches and ex-serving organisations, with grants of up to $25,000 available to help RSLs and other organisations provide a new service or program to meet identified needs caused by impacts of the coronavirus.

Applications close on 12 July 2020. See the Communities Tasmania website for more information.

Disability support

National Disability Services Tasmania supports those with disability to face the additional challenges caused by COVID-19.

National Debt Helpline - 1800 007 007

Financial counsellors provide free, independent and confidential advice to help you manage your debts or negotiate with creditors. Visit the National Debt Helpline website for step-by-step guides and useful information on how to deal with specific types of debts.

Last update: 02 Dec 2020 12:23pm

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

The Australian Government has extended Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment arrangements to include Tasmania.

Tasmanian workers may be eligible for a $1,500 lump sum payment if they cannot earn an income because they are required to self-isolate or quarantine.

If an individual is instructed by a health official to stay home from work because they have COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, and they have used up all their sick leave entitlements, including any special pandemic leave, they may be eligible to make a claim. People may also be eligible if they are the parent or guardian of a child aged 16 or under who is a close contact or has tested positive for COVID-19.

Tasmanian workers are eligible for the payment if they are not receiving income, earnings or salary maintenance from work, receiving the JobKeeper Payment or other forms of Australian Government income support. The payment can be claimed again should an extended quarantine period longer than 14 days be instructed by health officials.

The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment applies from 22 August 2020. To make a claim call 180 22 66. Further information is available on the Service Australia website.

Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants

Grants are available to support low-income persons, casual workers and self-employed persons who are required to self-isolate due to COVID-19 risk.

To apply, please call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

Low income

A one-off payment is available to low-income persons who are required by Public Health to self-isolate due to COVID-19 risk.

The amount depends on the size of your household:

  • $250 per adult
  • $125 per child
  • Maximum capped at $1000 per household

To be eligible for assistance you:

  • must be required by Public Health to self-isolate (excludes travellers returning home who are required to quarantine in government provided accommodation) as evidenced by a Letter of Isolation or other form of official advice; and
  • must be low-income as evidenced by Centrelink Health Care Card or Pensioners Concession Card, or otherwise be able to demonstrate genuine financial hardship; and
  • are not able to quarantine at your regular place of residence or with family and friends, as to do so, in the opinion of Public Health, would place vulnerable people at too great a risk.

An individual or household may be eligible to receive both Accommodation Support and Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants.

Casuals and self-employed

A $250 payment is available to eligible casual workers and self-employed persons who are unable to work while they are awaiting a COVID-19 test result.

To be eligible for assistance you must:

  • be employed on a casual basis* or be self-employed**;
  • have been tested for COVID-19, or be required to care for a dependent that has been tested for COVID-19, and be waiting for your or your dependent’s test results;
  • be a Tasmanian resident;
  • be self-isolating at your regular place of residence, with family or friends, or in Government quarantine, while waiting for your or your dependent’s test results; and
  • be able to demonstrate that you have lost income while waiting for test results.

* The applicant’s casual employment will be verified with their employer.

** Self-employed persons must be low-income as evidenced by a Centrelink Health Care Card or Pensioners Concession Card, or otherwise be able to demonstrate genuine financial hardship.

Evidence of a requirement to self-isolate, such as a Letter of Isolation or other form of official advice is not required. However, assessors will confirm that a COVID-19 test has been conducted prior to any payment being made.

Eligible persons may receive the grant multiple times, but no more than once within a 30 day period.

Temporary Visa Holders

Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants are available to temporary visa holders residing in Tasmania who can demonstrate genuine financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. There is no requirement for temporary visa holders to be in self-isolation or quarantine to be eligible.

See Temporary visa holders for more information.



Accommodation support

Emergency accommodation, such as hotel rooms, is available for vulnerable individuals and families on low incomes who are required by Public Health to self-isolate due to COVID-19 risk but who are unable to stay at their regular place of residence or are homeless.

Emergency relief

Organisations such as Red Cross, Rural Business Tasmania and The Salvation Army can help vulnerable Tasmanians with emergency food hampers, delivery of medications, provision of financial counselling and other essential support during quarantine.

Homelessness

If a person is required to quarantine in overcrowded housing or is homeless, they will be considered as not able to quarantine at home and will need emergency accommodation.

If you are not eligible for Emergency Support but you need emergency accommodation, then you can call Housing Connect on 1800 800 588.

Housing Connect can provide financial help to pay for emergency accommodation or provide details of an emergency accommodation provider. Individuals affected by family violence will be provided details of affordable private rentals or referred to Rapid Rehousing, a type of housing assistance.

To seek assistance all referring agencies and members of the public should ring the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

Emergency hotel accommodation is available for frontline workers who directly deliver essential health, welfare and biosecurity services if they need to stay away from home.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for emergency accommodation support, frontline workers must be:

  • Directly delivering essential health, welfare or biosecurity services and in close contact with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19; and
  • Their workplace is unable to provide reasonable prevention measures to stop close contact; and
  • Are not able to quarantine at their regular place of residence because a household member is ‘high risk’ (e.g. people who are elderly or have chronic health conditions or a weakened immune system); or a household member is required by Public Health to quarantine.

Ring the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 if you are a frontline worker seeking emergency accommodation support.

Flowchart of illustrating the eligibility criteria for emergency accommodation by frontline workers

Private Rental Incentives Program

The Private Rental Incentives Program helps eligible low income Tasmanians access affordable private rental properties.

The program offers landlords an incentive to lease their homes for a two-year period at a rent that is set at an affordable level for clients off the Housing Register.

See the Communities Tasmania website for more information.

COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund

A COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund has been established to assist tenants suffering from extreme hardship, with support of up to $2,000 or four weeks rent available. More information on the Fund is available from the Communities Tasmania website.

Residential rent relief for social housing

The Tasmanian Government will not increase the rent for social housing tenants over the next six months, and will not count Federal Government COVID-19 emergency payments as income for the purposes of calculating rent contributions.

If a household experiences a decrease in their household income, their rent will be decreased based on the Centrelink rates before the COVID-19 payments were established.

Any tenant whose income has been reduced as a result of the COVID-19 should contact their tenancy manager and their rents will be adjusted.

A one-off immediate $200 payment will be made to foster and kinship carers for each child or young person in their care, so families can purchase essential cleaning or hygiene products and to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Funds will be made available to carers though automatic deposit.

Supporting casual workers

Casual workers in the state sector   will be provided with two weeks special leave if they are required to quarantine.

National Debt Helpline - 1800 007 007

Financial counsellors provide free, independent and confidential advice to help you manage your debts or negotiate with creditors. Visit the National Debt Helpline website for step-by-step guides and useful information on how to deal with specific types of debts.

Last update: 05 Nov 2020 9:21am

To assist Tasmanian businesses with sourcing the essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed to keep operating safely, the Department of State Growth has established a PPE manufacturer and supplier register.

If you are a business in need of PPE, Click here to view the register.

If you are a manufacturer or supplier of PPE you are welcome to register your business by completing the online form.

It is recommended users of the register undertake their own due diligence to ensure products meet their requirements.

Any business purchasing PPE should ensure products meet the relevant standards and requirements of their industry as well as the guidance of health and work safety authorities before purchase.