The latest information in the form of an e-newsletter. Please click here to view the latest version.

COVID-19 Information

If you are unwell

  • If you suspect you have COVID-19, call the Hotline on 1800 675 398.  The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • The most at-risk categories are people who:
    • have returned from overseas or who have had close contact with a COVID-19 cases
    • are elderly or who have a pre-existing illness
    • are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • If you are in any of the most at risk categories and begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or respiratory illness, you should seek immediate medical attention.
  • If you are otherwise unwell, stay home and self-isolate to protect yourself and others from infection.  Contact your GP by phone for further assistance.

Financial assistance for individuals

  • Your employer may access wage subsidies to help keep staff employed.  More information in the section below.
  • If you no longer have work, and your employer is not accessing a wage subsidy for you, you can register for Centrelink HERE. The Federal Government has waived the ordinary wait times, assets test and other requirements.
  • The Government has expanded tele-health services so people can stay home and access health services via phone or videoconferencing. Contact your GP for further information.
  • The National Cabinet agreed on a moratorium on evictions for residential tenants unable to meet their obligations due to COVID-19.

Financial assistance for businesses

  • The Federal Government has announced a $130 billion JobKeeper payment to help businesses keep their staff employed and enable them to restart their operations more quickly once restrictions are lifted.
  • The JobKeeper payment is a wage subsidy of $1500 per fortnight, per employee, for up to six months and paid to businesses to pass on through their payroll system.
  • Other cashflow assistance and temporary measures have been announced to help businesses in financial distress avoid insolvency, including restrictions on evictions if commercial tenants can’t meet their obligations. Businesses are encouraged to contact their landlord to work out a mutual agreement that will help during this time.

How you can help others

  • Stay home except for essential activities permitted.
  • Reach out to your neighbours, particularly elderly or at-risk and help where you can. This could include picking up essential items they need when you do your own shopping or helping them access online ordering or services.
  • Look after your own mental health and support others. ‘Head to Health’ provides tips for coping, resources and links
  • Stay informed:

Victorian/ NSW border closure- scheduled to re-open November 23rd 2020

As a result of the Victorian/ NSW border closure, residents of Victoria require a permit and photo ID to cross the border.

Please use the link below to apply for your permit:-


Tourism North East

Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program

Business Victoria today announced guidelines for the Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program, now open to High Country accommodation businesses.

The program, announced last week, enables accommodation providers with an Australian Business Number (ABN) to claim payment of up to $225 per booking, per night up to a maximum of $1125, provided a full refund has been made on a booking to a person/s who can no longer travel as a result of restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, or from State border restrictions.

Full details of the program and how to apply for financial support found here – FAQs.

COVID-19 Support for Older Persons

OPAN is here to help

OPAN, Older Persons Advocacy Network, offers free aged care advocacy services that are independent and confidential. The services focus on supporting older people and their representatives to raise and address issues relating to accessing and interacting with government funded aged care services.

Speak to specifically trained staff who can provide you with support or help with the support of Older Persons.

Continued Aged Care Advocacy Support  1800 700 600 6am-10pm 7 days

Emergency Bushfire Primary Industries Grants

Grants of up to $75,000 are now available to eligible primary producers directly impacted by the Victorian Bushfires commencing 21 November 2019.

The support is available to bushfire affected primary producers in the local government areas of Ararat, Alpine, Ballarat, East Gippsland, Glenelg, Golden Plains, Greater Bendigo, Indigo, Mansfield, Moyne, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees, Southern Grampians, Strathbogie, Towong, Wangaratta, Wellington and Wodonga, and the alpine areas of Falls Creek, Mount Buller, Mount Hotham and Mount Stirling.

Grants may be used to cover the costs associated with clean up and reinstatement of the entity, as detailed in the attached guidelines.

Compensation for lost income or amounts claimed under other programs or through insurance cover are not eligible for grant assistance.

Applications together with supporting documentation must be submitted by 31 December 2020 via:

Post: Rural Finance, PO Box 1313, Bendigo Central 3552

Email: governmentservices@ruralfinance.com.au

Fax: 5441 8901

For further information please contact Rural Finance on 1800 260 425 or visit


Relief and Recovery Support/ Emergency Relief Assistance Payments

Information regarding Relief and Recovery support for those experiencing financial hardship for clean-up, emergency accommodation, repairs, and rebuilding.


Bushfire Clean Up Program

The program covers the demolition and disposal of all buildings destroyed or damaged beyond repair by this season’s bushfires. This includes:

  • residential homes
  • sheds and other out-buildings
  • commercial buildings
  • public buildings

This may also include the removal of fencing, trees and vehicles, but only where it is necessary for the safe clean-up of destroyed buildings.

Register your eligibility for the clean-up program on the website, link below.


Bushfire Recovery Victoria

A new, permanent and dedicated Victorian Government agency working directly with local communities to listen, help and deliver what they need.


Small Business Bushfire Support Grant

Grants of up to $10,000 to support small businesses who have experienced a significant loss of income due to the Victorian bushfires that commenced 21 November 2019.

These grants are available to small businesses in the local council areas of Alpine, East Gippsland, Indigo, Mansfield, Towong, Wellington and the Rural City of Wangaratta.

Grant assistance is also available to small businesses who work within the eligible disaster areas on a regular basis, provided they can demonstrate significant impact.

The Victorian Small Business Bushfire Support Grant is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian State Government under the Disaster Recovery Arrangements.