The COVID-19 pandemic has been a tough period for all of us. But I'm committed to helping Canberrans through these testing times, and flourish on the other side.
Last week, I launched the first phase of our Jobs for Canberrans program, with 150 new jobs in the ACT public service for Canberrans whose income has been significantly affected by COVID-19.
The program will provide safe, secure, short-term employment opportunities with the ACT Public Service from now until June 2021.
The jobs program has been specially designed to complete essential government work and support the Canberrans who aren’t eligible for the Commonwealth’s JobKeeper program.
As the pandemic evolves, we will continue to roll out further programs across our public service to support Canberra families. I want to thank our local Unions who supported the Government in developing the program.
We have also started work on a number of local infrastructure projects to help keep Canberrans employed.
The program has focused on ‘screwdriver’ ready works that can start immediately. We are also planting 4,000 new trees across the city, and increasing the maintenance of local parks.
For more information on these projects, visit www.act.gov.au/fasttrack
There are Canberrans unable to go home, unable to work, and unable to benefit from Australian Government Assistance.
That’s why we have announced emergency funding to help people living in the Territory on temporary visas. The new emergency funding will help with the basics so that people on temporary visas can survive through this pandemic.
We also want to make sure that anyone in Canberra who isn’t eligible for Medicare – such as international students and temporary visa holders, can still get the free testing, treatment and other public health supports related to COVID-19.
The ACT is a refugee welcome zone and asylum seekers can already access free healthcare. This decision extends free public healthcare for COVID-19 to other temporary visa holders who don’t have health insurance.
For the latest information on the ACT Government’s response, visit the dedicated COVID-19 website – www.covid19.act.gov.au.