A mother and daughter in a medical surgery, the Mum is hugging her daughter and they are facing the back of a man in a white coat,
Covid-19 and the Australian Government’s response to the pandemic

Senate Select’s Committee on COVID-19 and the Australian Government’s response to the pandemic 

03/06/2020 12:00 PM

The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia outlines the pandemic's impact on service demand, changing client profiles, and service delivery. The Society acknowledges the Australian Government's Emergency Relief (ER) funding in 2020.

The Society argues for retaining JobSeeker and JobKeeper until an expert group advises on payment rates; retention of the current rate of payment or alignment with the aged and disability pensions; and the ongoing need for government support for vulnerable individuals excluded from assistance e.g., casual workers, people seeking asylum, refugees, or temporary visa holders etc.   

The Society outlines how it adapted its service models to increased online and virtual support but faced challenges in providing food, accommodation, and services due to reduced volunteers and donations. The Society also argues for charities to be exempted from commercial leasing principles, emergency provisions in grant and procurement rules, and a review of fundraising laws.

Other recommendations include the need for tax reforms, investment in energy efficiency, and support for the Social Housing Acceleration and Renovation Program. Investment in social and community housing is essential (such as a $10 billion fund as outlined in the Society’s 2016 Ache for Home Report).

The Society also supports increased energy concessions, new national minimum rental standards, a new national antiracism strategy, and increased funding for refugees and mental health.  

Download the full submission (PDF file)

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