Financial and community assistance

Council support

To support Cairns residents and businesses, Council has:

  • Extended the due date for half-year rates payments to 27 May 2020
  • Extended the due date for water usage fees for three months
  • 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.

Further Council assistance will be discussed as part of budget discussions once the new Council is sworn in.

Australian Government support

The Australian Government has announced a range of financial supports for residents.

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


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.

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. For more information, phone the Cairns Local Coronavirus Hotline on 1300 396 102, between 8am and 5pm, seven days a week.

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:

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


  • 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.

Priority supermarket home deliveries

Woolworths, Coles and IGA are providing priority assistance for eligible customers in Cairns.

In-store trading hours may be impacted in order to fill priority online orders. Woolworths Mount Sheridan and Earlville stores have reduced in-store trading hours to 9am to 6pm daily, with no community shopping hour. Contact your local supermarket for details.

  • Woolworths Priority Assistance delivery - register online at or call 1800 000 610.
  • IGA Priority Shop home delivery - register online at or phone 1800 018 384.
  • Coles Online Priority Service - currently available by invitation only to the elderly and those at risk with pre-existing health and medical conditions.  View eligibility criteria and process details at  If you are not eligible for this service, Coles continues to provide the Community Hour on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7am to 8am,  exclusively for elderly customers and others in need of assistance. You will need to present a government-issued identification card.
Last updated: 25 May 2020