COVID-19: NO ONE LEFT BEHIND
The health and economic impacts of the coronavirus have hit our Melbourne community hard and exposed growing inequality.
Since the start of this pandemic, I’ve been working hard to ensure that every single one of us has the right care and support to get through this crisis.
For years, the Liberal/National government has ripped funding out of healthcare, chronically underfunded our hospitals and cut away at our social safety net, while propping up their big business mates.
After scrambling to recreate services and safety nets that used to exist, Scott Morrison prematurely cut JobKeeper, leaving thousands without work and needing to apply for JobSeeker, which has been pushed back below the poverty line. No one should be forced to live in poverty, especially in a wealthy country like Australia.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us one thing, it’s that we’re all in this together – and we will get through this together. No matter where you live or how much money you have, you shouldn’t be left in the lurch.
As your local MP, I’ve been working hard to ensure that every single one of us has access to adequate care and support to get through this crisis with no one left behind.
So far we’ve achieved:
✅ A boost in income support for people on Newstart (JobSeeker): We were able to ensure that individuals on Newstart could get an additional $550 COVID supplement until Scott Morrison cut JobSeeker in half with only a measly $3.57 daily increase. We’re continuing to fight for permanent improvements and to see JobSeeker raised to $88, so that students and single parents won’t be forced back into poverty by the Morrison Government.
✅ Saving the Abbotsford Centrelink: When the Federal Government tried to shut down the Abbotsford Centrelink in 2020 with just a few days’ notice in the middle of the crisis, we campaigned hard alongside the community to ensure continued access to a physical service within the electorate.
✅ Introduction of JobKeeper to help save jobs and livelihoods: The Greens were the first in Parliament to call for a form of wage or job guarantee. The Greens were opposed to Scott Morrison cutting JobKeeper and believe it’s vital that support is maintained, especially for the sectors and regions hardest hit, like Melbourne and the tourism sector.
✅ Eviction Ban to protect renters: Working alongside my state colleagues, we achieved a 12 month ban on evictions during the crisis. We’ll keep fighting to make sure renters are protected.
✅ Additional income support for students on Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy: Alongside my Greens colleagues, I campaigned in Parliament to ensure students would receive the additional $550 COVID supplement during the crisis. While these measures are only temporary, we'll continue to fight for permanent improvements.
✅ Support for the not-for-profit sector: Originally shut out of the government’s small business support package, many organisations that provide support to the most vulnerable people in our communities now have access to support to keep their services functioning.
I'll keep fighting for:
▶️ Free Rapid Antigen Tests for everyone
▶️ Ventilation in all schools
▶️ Raising the rate of JobSeeker to $88 a day
▶️ Permanent changes to the Centrelink social safety net:
▶️ Stronger protections for homeowners and renters
▶️ Supporting disabled people and carers
▶️ Supporting a thriving Melbourne arts industry
▶️ Increased funding for frontline domestic violence support services
▶️ Support for Melbourne small businesses
For up-to-date health information about the Coronavirus:
The latest health advice
Up-to-date information for Victorians can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services website.
Up-to-date health information from the Federal Government can be found on the Department of Health Coronavirus Alert website.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to keep yourself, your family and your community safe.
Everyone in Australia aged 5 and over can receive a free COVID-19 vaccination. Find your nearest vaccine appointment by clicking here.
Mental Health Support
If you are feeling anxiety related to the Coronavirus, there are many things you can do. You are not alone in this.
Beyond Blue have set up a website for details on how to manage anxiety around the virus: Coronavirus Mental Health Support Service.
You can call them on: 1300 22 4636
Lifeline is a national charity open to all Australians in personal crisis. They have 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
You can call them on: 13 11 14
You can access their online crisis support chat here: lifeline.org.au
Australian Psychological Society tips
Maintaining positive mental health
If you are escaping family violence, you can get help from the Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre:
Ph: 1800 015 188 (free call, 24 hours)
The service will assess your safety needs. They will then arrange emergency or crisis accommodation if needed or link you with a local family violence support service.
If you require assistance, you can contact our office on (03) 9417 0772 and we’ll do our best to help you or point you in the right direction.