Fraser Coast COVID-19 Response Resources

Apr 1, 2020

Last Updated 03/04/2020

As we continue to navigate the global impacts of COVID-19, Fraser Coast Tourism & Events would like to reiterate our commitment to playing a constructive role in supporting our region both now and in the long-term once we are over the other side of this difficult situation. Our thoughts are with our entire industry during this trying time, and we are committed to softening the impact of COVID-19 to local businesses and tourism operations. We have compiled a list of up-to-date information, health alerts, government announcements, support and resources being made and the preventative measures being taken as we navigate COVID-19.

It is imperative that we look out for one another during these unprecedented times. Please support and offer help wherever you can, and if you need help, please get in contact via email at [email protected].

LATEST NEWS UPDATES FROM GOVERNMENT CHANNELS

More information about Australian Government support for individuals is available here.

LATEST FROM FRASER COAST REGIONAL COUNCIL

BUSINESS SUPPORT INITIATIVES

The Queensland and Australian Governments have dedicated customer representatives to explain the assistance available to business.
For an overview of Queensland Government support visit Business Queensland and contact the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training hotline: 1300 654 687 and [email protected]
For more information on Australian Government support talk over the phone, live chat or email from 8am – 8pm through the Coronavirus business support service.

Phone: 13 28 46 or email Coronavirus business support.

SUPPORTING STAFF

Supporting apprentices and trainees  – Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of their apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.

Casual employees – The Australian Government is making support payments quicker to access by waiving the usual waiting period periods for casual employees.

Jobs support loans – This scheme is for Queensland businesses and non-profit organisations financially affected by COVID-19. Eligible business types include sole traders, partnerships, private and public companies and trusts.

Worker transition scheme –  For workers who may find themselves without work.

Early access to superannuation – Casual workers with an income or hours reduced by 20% or more, access up to $10,000 of their superannuation tax-free.

Fair Work Australia –workplace obligations and entitlements – Help and advice for employers and employees with entitlements during this time.

SOLE TRADERS

Additional Information for Sole Traders – Increased instant asset write off and accelerated depreciation measures for sole traders, as well as increased and accelerated income support payments for sole traders and employees

Boosting cash flow for employers – Temporary cash flow support to small and medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations through two sets of cash flow boosts to support employers to retain employees.Support provided via tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 and $100,000.

Job support loans – Loan for sole traders to retain employees and maintain their operations. Low interest loans of up to $250,000 are available to assist with carry-on expenses such as employee wages, rent and rates and other related expenditure.

Early access to superannuation – Sole traders or casual workers with an income or hours reduced by 20% or more, access up to $10,000 of the superannuation tax-free.

TOURISM BUSINESS SUPPORT

Information for hotels and hotel staff – COVID-19 fact sheet

Hostels, Bed and Breakfasts and Backpackers may continue to operate for permanent residents and workers of the facility, with social distancing observed. Limited to no more than 5 people in common areas such as lounge rooms and shared facilities, with no more than one person per 4 square metres Limited to no more than 10 people in an outdoor area, that is part of the facility, or near the facility, with social distancing observed. Learn more

Relief for Queensland tourism businesses includes:

See the DITID website for more details.

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) is offering free membership, advocacy and support. You can also call (07) 3236 1445.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

From midnight 28 March 2020, all returning overseas travellers will self-isolate in a hotel or other accommodation for a period of 14 days. The Australian Defence Force is supporting the implementation of these arrangements. The Isolation Declaration Card is enforceable by law. Find out more

Queensland border closures: Information about Queensland state border access restrictions, including who is exempt.

The restrictions are to stop all non-essential travel into and within Queensland. Travelling for holidays is considered “non-essential travel”. Border access is for residents returning home, commerce and health/essential workers. The main border crossings with be manned by police, TMR and other QG officers who will be stopping each vehicle.

Anyone arriving in Queensland (via air, sea, rail or road) from another State or Territory must self-quarantine for 14 days, unless they are an “exempt person”. Even if a person is an exempt person, they must self-quarantine if they have travelled in the last 14 days to particular areas of Australia, which will be decided by the Chief Health Officer. Find out more.

You can also read the Chief Health Officer directive on border closures for more information.

State campgrounds closed – All camping areas in Queensland national parks, state forests and recreation areas are closed from 26 March 2020 until further notice.
Travel is also restricted to remote communities, as well as North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) and Fraser Island (K’gari).

RULES FOR TRADING

Latest information on non-essential business closures. Please also note the new restrictions from the Australian Government on public gatherings as these will also influence business closures. The 30 minute per patron restriction on barbers and hairdressers has been lifted, effective immediately.

Liquor licensing – The Queensland Government COVID-19 economic relief package includes the waiving of 2020–21 liquor licencing fees.

State campgrounds closed – All camping areas in Queensland national parks, state forests and recreation areas are closed from 26 March 2020 until further notice.

Prior to 31/03/2020

HOME CONFINEMENT DIRECTIONS

New home confinement regulations were also announced on Sunday night in further action to slow the spread of coronavirus to save lives and to save livelihoods. The general direction to the population is for people to stay in their homes and not travel and meetings outside the home are confined to a maximum of two people.

In Queensland, home confinement requirements for residents, announced by Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, take effect from midnight (30 March 2020). They require:

  • A person who resides in Queensland must not leave their principal place of residence except for, and only to the extent reasonably necessary to accomplish, the following permitted purposes:
    • to obtain food or other essential goods or services;
    • to obtain medical treatment or other health care services;
    • to engage in physical exercise, either alone or in the company of no more than one other person; or in the company of a family group who ordinarily live in the same household;
    • to perform work on behalf of an employer that is engaged in an essential business, activity or undertaking, and the work to be performed is of a nature that cannot reasonably be performed from the person’s principal place of residence;
    • to visit a terminally ill relative or to attend a funeral, subject to any applicable restrictions under other relevant Public Health Directions;
    • to provide assistance, care or support to an immediate member of the person’s family;
    • to attend any Court of Australia or to comply with or give effect to orders of the Court; or
    • to attend a childcare facility, school, university, or other educational institution, to the extent care or instruction cannot reasonably be obtained in the person’s principal place of residence.
  • A person who leaves their residence for a permitted purpose may be accompanied by members of their household or, alternatively, by no more than one person who is not a member of their household.
  • The home confinement requirements will remain in force until the end of the public health emergency (or unless revoked or replaced). On the spot fines of $1330 will be made by police for people in breach.
  • The Queensland Chief Health Officer may grant an exemption to part or all of these directions on compassionate grounds or for other exceptional circumstances.

FULL DETAILS:

Advice from the Government is that we will be living with this virus for at least six months, so social distancing measures to slow this virus down must be sustainable for at least that long to protect Australian lives and help Australia to keep functioning.

LATEST HEALTH ADVICE, CURRENT STATUS AND CONTACT TRACING ALERTS

Visit Queensland Health for the latest health information and instructions.

Join the Australian Government what’s app group for the latest news and advice http://oz.gov.au/whatsapp

If you develop a fever, a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath within 14 days of overseas travel, contact a doctor or call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

Social distancing of 1.5 metres – Social distancing is a public health practice with the key aim to prevent sick people from coming into close contact with others to slow down the spread of a disease. It also intends to reduce the chance of high-risk groups from becoming infected and to alleviate the burden on our health care systems and workers.

When is self-isolation required? What is involved?

MENTAL WELLBEING 

Queensland Health’s website has information on how to look after your mental wellbeing in a crisis.
Other contacts:
Lifeline (Mental health and wellbeing) – phone 13 11 14
Beyondblue (Mental health and wellbeing) – phone 1300 224 636
Headspace  (Youth mental health and wellbeing) – phone 1800 650 890

CARING FOR OTHERS

  • Community Recovery Hotline: 1800 173 349 – for Queenslanders who do not have the capacity to look after themselves in quarantine and don’t have family or friends to assist.
  • Contact the Salvation Army or phone 1300 662 217.
  • Domestic and family violence: The Queensland Government has information, services and support for people affected by domestic or family violence.

ADAPTING YOUR BUSINESS MODEL

Market diversification and resilience grants – To help develop alternative markets food and fishing exporters and critical supply chain partners

Supply chain issues – For manufacturers and businesses who are finding it difficult to obtain vital materials and supplies to remain open.

GETTING READY TO REBOUND

Business Mentoring Assistance – Mentoring for Growth – The Mentoring for Growth program has mentors ready to connect with impacted small businesses and may be able to provide tailored support including financial mentoring and business planning.

Financial Resilience Workshops – Delivered by TAFE Queensland, these workshops will provide practical tools and skills to build business resilience as well as an opportunity to connect and network with other small businesses facing similar issues.

Market Diversification and Resilience Grants – To help develop alternative markets food and fishing exporters and critical supply chain partners.
Any small business impacted by COVID19 can now contact the Rural Financial Counselling

Service  in the following areas:
Southern Queensland – phone (07) 4622 5500
North Queensland – phone  (07) 4652 566

QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT SUPPORT PACKAGE

The Queensland Deputy Director General (Tourism & Major Events), Jeffery McAlister, has briefed Regional Tourism Organisations and provided the following links to the Queensland Government’s $27.25m immediate response package, available to businesses across the state:

  • Business Resilience workshops are being delivered across the state in the coming weeks/months to assist in building the financial resilience of small businesses. The local delivery of the workshop will support a place-based approach and cohesive development of broader resilience for local small businesses and their communities. To find out more about the workshops and register your business, please contact 1300 654 687.
  • Additionally, the Mentoring for Growth program currently has more than 50 mentors ready to connect with impacted small businesses. Mentors are available to provide tailored support including financial mentoring and business planning. Please contact 1300 654 687 or [email protected] for more information.
  • For larger employers, the information about payroll tax deferral is available here:  https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/employing/payroll-tax/lodging/coronavirus-tax-relief

Fraser Coast COVID-19 Response Resources 2

RESOURCES FOR INDUSTRY                                                                                                         

– Tourism Support 

See the DITID website for more details. The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) is offering free membership, advocacy and support.

– Hospitality & Accommodation Support

– Support for Small Business

CASH FLOW

Boosting cash flow for employers – provides up to $100,000 back to small and medium-sized businesses, with a minimum payment of $20,000 for eligible businesses.
The payment will be tax-free.

SERVICE CHANGES, QUEENSLAND RAIL

We have seen a significant reduction in patronage across travel network and tourism services in recent weeks. In response to reduced patronage as a result of COVID-19, Queensland Rail is implementing a reduced offering on coastal rail services, suspending western services and suspending tourism services until further notice.
Queensland Rail acknowledges the important role our services play in connecting Queenslanders with employment and other essential commitments at this difficult time. We are committed to providing reliable services for our customers, where it is safe to do so, as this dynamic situation continues to evolve.
Kuranda Scenic Railway and Gulflander services have been suspended effective immediately.
Spirit of the Outback, The Inlander and The Westlander will be suspended from Monday 30 March 2020.

As of Monday 30 March 2020, the following Queensland Rail Travel services will operate:

  • Spirit of Queensland – 3 return services per week (Brisbane to Cairns)
  • Rockhampton Tilt Train – 4 return services per week (Brisbane to Rockhampton)
  • Bundaberg Tilt Train – 2 return services per week (Brisbane to Bundaberg)

Detailed timetable information is available at www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au. At this time, Queensland Rail Travel will waive amendment and cancellation fees to enable customers to alter their travel plans.

CARAVAN PARK UPDATES

Queensland Police Service are interpreting the Queensland Health Non-Essential Business Closure Directive in its strictest form. This means that where they are visiting parks their expectation is that the only people you have in your park are residents, people who can not live in their permanent place of residence (i.e. they have sold their house but can’t move into their new house until next month) OR they live in their van full time.

If you receive a request from someone looking to stay and you are unsure if you should allow them, we would encourage you to contact your local Police station as they have the discretion to grant you an exemption on individual cases.

Non-Essential Business Closure Direction
Under this direction Caravan and camping parks are considered a non-essential business. The exception to this order is “where people live permanently in caravan parks or are staying in caravan parks as interim abodes where their primary residence is not available they may continue to do so with social distancing observed.”

THIS DIRECTIVE MEANS YOU CANNOT ACCEPT TOURISTS, HOLIDAY MAKERS OR PEOPLE ON NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL.

TRAVEL INDUSTRY UPDATES

Recreational Boating in Queensland
As from Sunday, 29 March federal government direction is that public gatherings are restricted to no more than two persons, excluding household members, and that people should stay home unless they are shopping for essentials, receiving medical care, exercising or travelling to work or education. This applies to all activities that are not specifically exempted – boating is NOT.

In line with this, the Queensland government has advised that all non-essential gatherings should not go ahead and the government’s Chief Health Officer has directed that, as from 11.59 pm on Sunday, 29 March a person who resides in Queensland must not leave their principal place of residence except for, and only to the extent reasonably necessary to accomplish an itemised set of permitted circumstances.

The only ‘permitted circumstance’ in line with the Government which might reasonably be considered to include recreational boating is that of physical exercise. Unless you intend to go onto our waterways as part of your overall physical exercise regime, which is most reasonably interpreted as boating in a non-powered craft (ie paddle or such) you should not be undertaking any non-essential movement in line with government directions.

Queensland Border Closures
Queensland border closures: Information about Queensland state border access restrictions, including who is exempt.

Who is exempt from the requirement to enter quarantine for 14 days?

  • National/state security
  • Essential health services
  • Emergency services
  • Transport of goods or freight including food
  • Critical maintenance/repair to critical infrastructure in Queensland
  • Construction, mining/energy/agribusinesses (and see below for specific requirements for FIFO workers in these sectors)
  • Federal, state or local government workers who are required to enter to Queensland to perform official duties.

If you are providing these critical services and need to enter Queensland, you can apply for an entry pass. Heavy vehicles carrying any kinds of freight or good across the border do not have apply for an entry pass

The restrictions are to stop all non-essential travel into and within Queensland. Travelling for holidays is considered “non-essential travel”. Border access is for residents returning home, commerce and health/essential workers. The main border crossings with be manned by police, TMR and other QG officers who will be stopping each vehicle.
You can also read the Chief Health Officer directive on border closures for more information.

The government believes we will be living with this virus for at least six months, so social distancing measures to slow this virus down must be sustainable for at least that long to protect Australian lives and help Australia to keep functioning. The rate of increase in the virus curve is slowing, but overall numbers are still increasing. While the majority of cases in Australia are connected to travellers returning to Australia from overseas, there has been some sustained community transmission in areas of Sydney and Melbourne.

Changes include:

Indoor and Outdoor Public gatherings
National Cabinet agreed to limit both indoor and outdoor gatherings to two persons only.

Exceptions to this limit include:

  • People of the same household going out together;
  • Funerals – a maximum of 10 people;
  • Wedding – a maximum of 5 people;
  • Family units.

Individual states and territories may choose to mandate and/or enforce this requirement.

National Cabinet’s strong guidance to all Australians is to stay home unless for:

  • Shopping for what you need – food and necessary supplies;
  • Medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements;
  • Exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements;
  • Work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely.

LEARN MORE

GETTING READY TO REBOUND

ADAPTING YOUR BUSINESS MODEL

FCTE INITIATIVES

CLOSED FACEBOOK GROUP FOR PARTNERS

We have received strong support for the establishment of a closed Facebook group for Partner communication during this dreadful time and now have this set up and are urging Partners to join. Please send a request via Facebook here.

The Facebook group will provide a forum for operator feedback, requests and comment, so as an industry we can bind together and support each other. The platform would be moderated by FCTE staff members, so it remains a positive space for all Partners.

Click here to join.

FCTE ‘SUPPORT LOCAL’ CAMPAIGN

Now more than ever we understand that it is critical to get behind local businesses and operators, to buy local, and support our community which continues to struggle immensely with the ongoing impacts caused by COVID-19.

Click here to join.

KEY PARTNER CONTACTS

DITID Tourism
Email: [email protected]

DITID Innovation
Email: [email protected]

Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur
Email: [email protected] Phone: (07) 3423 9500

QTIC
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (07) 3236 1445

TEQ
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (07) 3535 3535

Australian Banking Association – Small business relief, deferral of loans
Chamber of Commerce & Industry Qld
Facebook Grants
For Education and Schools
General State Government Updates

IMPORTANT LINKS