Financial and community assistance

Economic support

Council support

To support Cairns residents and businesses, Council has endorsed the Financial Hardship Policy to provide rates and charges assistance (by way of extended payments plans and interest waivers) to those ratepayers suffering financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.

To request assistance, complete the Rates hardship relief online form and our Revenue Team will contact you.

Australian Government support

On 21 July, the Australian Government announced changes to JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments. You can read more in this factsheet.

For information, and to apply, for Australian Government financial support visit Services Australia.

Working from home tax deductions

The Australian Taxation Office has announced changes to rules around claiming expenses associated with working from home during Covid-19.

Queensland Government support

Renting

The Queensland Government has announced a range of support for renters and landlords including a freeze on evictions and a one-off rental grant for those who have been financially impacted by coronavirus and have no other financial assistance.

The Residential Rental Hub has information for renters, property owners, agents and property managers.

Utilities rebate

The Queensland Government's economic relief package will support Queenslanders’ health, jobs and businesses. For households, the package includes $200 rebate for all Queensland households to offset the cost of water and electricity bills. The rebate will be automatically applied through household electricity bills in the coming months.

For details on financial assistance for Queensland businesses, refer to the Business Queensland portal.

Community sport

The Queensland Government's Return to Play program offers assistance to community sport, recreation and fitness organisations with a range of funding and grants.

Applications for the COVID SAFE Active Clubs Kickstart grant open on March 25. Clubs can apply for $2000 to go toward hygiene supplies, equipment and operational costs for COVID Safe clubs to return to sport.

Mental health support

It's natural to feel anxious or worried at this time.

Beyond Blue has been funded to provide mental health support during the coronavirus pandemic. You can find a wealth of information on their website, or contact the helpline on 1800 512 348.

The Queensland Government also has support for people experiencing domestic and family violence.

Support over the phone is available from these organisations:

Lifeline 13 11 14
Relationships Australia Support and Information1300 364 277
Domestic Violence Hotline (DV Connect)1800 811 811
Kid's Help Line1800 551 800
Parentline1300 301 300
Mensline DV Connect Queensland1800 600 636
Beyond 1300 224 636
13Health (Confidential Health Advice)13 43 25
Gambling Helpline1800 858 858

Information, advice and ideas for maintaining good mental health

Community support for elderly, disabled and self-isolating

Food deliveries

The following local service organisations are providing assistance to elderly residents during the coronavirus crisis.

Note: each service agency sets their own eligibility criteria. Services offered are subject to resource availability.

Salvation Army

  • food deliveries to elderly residents and self-isolating only
  • contact the Salvos by phone 1800 173 379 or 4051 2454, or via email: cairns.corps@salvationarmy.org.au

St Vincent de Paul

  • food deliveries to elderly residents
  • contact Vinnies directly by phone 4032 3201

Meals on Wheels

  • food deliveries on a fee-for-service basis
  • operating at Cairns (4051 1300 ) and Marlin Coast (4055 6016) centres
  • Marlin Coast only operate Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Anglicare

  • food deliveries to elderly residents and self-isolating only
  • Contact Anglicare by phone 0436 608 697

Community Recovery Hotline (Queensland Government)

If you have no other means of getting food or essential items, call the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

The hotline has been activated by the Queensland Government to assist people who have been advised to quarantine at home by a medical professional, Queensland Health or through government direction and have no other mechanisms for support.

Government staff will work with partner organisations to arrange non-contact delivery of essential food and medication to people in quarantine with no other means of support.

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Last updated: 17 August 2020