Information for Community Members re COVID-19 

See what service delivery arrangements Blue Mountains community service organisations have put in place...


General Updates

Blue Mountains City Council Community Safety Coronavirus (COVID-19) - service delivery arrangements, updates, closures, etc. 

NSW Government COVID-19 - advice re restrictions, how to protect yourself and others, symptoms and what to do if unwell.

NSW Government Latest Updates - includes all the latest media releases and press conferences.

NSW Government Public Health Orders - orders, penalties, rules for gattherings, public places and businesses.

NSW Health COVID-19 Statistics - latest numbers of cases in NSW.

NSW Health COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

NSW COVID-19 Public Health Laws and Police Powers - a factsheet from Redfern Legal Centre

Australian Goverment Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) current situation and case numbers - in Australia and across the world.

Coronavirus Australia app - stay up to date with official information and advice about the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. You can check your symptoms and get notified when urgent information and updates are published  Download in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or join WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.

COVIDSafe app - speeds up contacting people exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19).  Download in the Apple App Store or Google Play

ABC News Coronavirus Latest Updates

SBS Australia COVID-19 online portal - to help ensure clear messages are available in 63 languages.  

Roadmap to Recovery - developed by a group of over a hundred of the country’s leading epidemiologists, infectious disease consultants, public health specialists, healthcare professionals, mental health and well-being practitioners, indigenous scholars, communications and behaviour change experts, ethicists, philosophers, political scientists, economists and business scholars from the Group of Eight (Go8) universities.


Healthcare

Blue Mountains City Council COVID-19 General Information and Testing - how to get a diagnosis, location of Blue Mountains testing clinics.

GP Respiratory Clinics in Hazelbrook and Penrith - can assess people with mild to moderate respiratory symptoms including fever, sore throat, cough and shortness of breath.  Patients do not need a GP Referral before attending the clinic. The clinics are free of charge to all patients.

All NSW COVID-19 Clinic Locations - The NSW Government is encouraging members of our community to come forward and get tested even if you only have mild symptoms like a cough. Testing can help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, tiredness or sore throat.  Find a COVID-19 testing centre near you.

Australian Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) self-isolation and test status notification - information to help inform the Australian Government’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Help by sharing details of self-isolation, and test results (if applicable).

HealthDirect Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker - online symptom checker.

Telehealth gives patients the option to access and manage their healthcare virtually and online from their home.  It also minimises the risk of Coronavirus by reducing person to person contact. You can find valuable, user-friendly information on the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) website.


Financial Support

JobSeeker Payment -  If you or your family are not able to work or don’t have work, in isolation or hospitalised, or, caring for children due to the coronavirus pandemic, you may be eligible for one of the following payments Youth Allowance, JobSeeker Payment, or, Parenting Payment.  To get a payment, you’ll need to meet all the eligibility rules including residence rules and income tests. However other requirements have been waived including the ordinary waiting period, mutual obligation requirements and the assets test.  You also don’t need to give Centrelink a bank statement, Employment Separation Certificate or a letter from your employer. They will let you know when you need to.

JobSeeker and COVID-19 - information from the Welfare Rights Centre about JobSeeker Payment and the temporary arrangements in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  It also covers what to do if you have a JobSeeker Payment claim rejected.

Economic Support Payments - The Australian Government is making 2 Economic Support Payments of $750 each.  They are additional payments if you get an income support payment, and/or hold a Pensioner Concession Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or Veteran Gold Card, and/or you receive a Vererans Service Pension, Veteran's Income Support Supplement, Veterans' Compensation payments or a War Widow(er) Pension.  You won't get the second payment if you get the Coronavirus Supplement.  The payments will be automatically included with your regular payment.

Coronavirus Supplement - On 22 March 2020, the Government announced it will provide a temporary payment of $550 per fortnight, known as the Coronavirus Supplement, to new and existing eligible income support recipients. On 24 March 2020, the Government extended the eligibility criteria for this payment to Australians receiving student support payments including Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY. Eligible recipients will receive the Coronavirus Supplement from 27 April 2020 along with their usual payment.

JobKeeper Payment - Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the coronavirus are able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months.  Register now for JobKeeper updates from the ATO.

Early Release of Superannuation - From mid-April, eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 until 24 September 2020.

Early Childhood Education & Care Relief Package - From Monday 6 April 2020 weekly payments will be made directly to early childhood education and care services in lieu of the Child Care Subsidy and the Additional Child Care Subsidy, to help them keep their doors open and employees in their jobs.  Payments will be made until the end of the 2019-20 financial year and families will not be charged fees during this time.  In addition, up to and including 5 April 2020, services can now waive gap fees for families due to the impact of COVID-19. This can go back as far as 23 March 2020 and is in addition to changes already announced that allow services to waive gap fees for families where they has been directed to close on public health advice.

Relief Packages from the Banks - Information through the Australian Banking Association about major changes individual banks have introduced to help personal, business and commercial landlord customers during COVID 19.

Blue Mountains City of the Arts Trust Quick Response Small Grant program - to support the City's arts and creative sectors by providing financial assistance to Blue Mountains artists and arts organisations impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.  Applications close on Thursday 18 June 2020.

Blue Mountains No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) - Interest-free loans for individuals or families on low income. It’s a community-based program that enables people to access fair, safe and equitable credit for the purchase of goods and services.  Available through the Lower Mountains Neighbourhood Centre 4739 1164, Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre 4754 4050, Blackheath Area Neighbourhood Centre on 4787 7770, or Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre 4759 2592.

Wesley Emergency Relief - available to help people experiencing financial distress or hardhip and who have limited means or resources to help alleviate their financial crisis.  Call 1300 827 638.

National Debt Helpline - free service providing confidential advice by Financial Counselling Australia.  Call 1800 007 007.

Dealing with the financial impact of being out of work - advice from Beyond Blue - 1800 512 348

Wentworth Social Housing - for info on rent arrangements for tenants during  COVID-19.

COVID-19 making financial decisions - information and resources from moneysmart.gov.au.

Small Business COVID-19 Suppot Grant - if your small business or non-profit organisation has experienced a significant decline in revenue as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible for the small business support grant of up to $10,000.

Free advice for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 - Western Sydney Business Centre will provide advice over the phone or via online Skype sessions at no cost.


Legal

Elizabeth Evatt Community Legal Centre's Legal Advice Line is available on 4704 0207 on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and Wednesday afternoons and the Tenancy Advice Line is available on 4704 0201 on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm.

Penrith Legal Aid - will be conducting all advice services by telephone. Criminal law outreach at Katoomba Court on Mondays will still take place, however appointments must now be booked through their office on 4732 3077.

Orange Legal Aid - all face to face outreaches across Bathurst, Parkes, Orange, Forbes and Cowra have also been cancelled. Contact Orange Legal Aid on 6362 8022 for phone advice appointments.

LawAccess NSW - a free government telephone service on 1300 888 529 that provides legal assistance for people who have a legal problem in NSW.

Resources from Legal Aid NSW:

  1. Understanding COVID-19 restrictions
  2. Courts, police and crime
  3. Domestic violence
  4. Families, relationships and children
  5. Government and rights
  6. Housing and tenancy
  7. Jobs and employment
  8. Money, debt and fines
  9. Practitioner resources
  10. Public Safety (Images and GIFs)
  11. Resources from other government organisations

Six month moratorium on residential tenancy evictions during COVID-19 - NSW Government is introducing an interim 60-day stop on landlords seeking to evict tenants due to rental arrears as a result of COVID-19, together with longer six month restrictions on rental arrears evictions for those financially disadvantaged by COVID-19.

What you need to know: Renting and COVID-19 - The Tenants' Union NSW covers common questions about renting and COVID-19.


Jobs / Volunteering

Australian Government Jobs Hub - to help Australians find work during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Jobs Hub advertises the latest vacancies from businesses across Australia. .

The ASU Jobs Connect – to connect employers in the community and disability sectors across NSW to try to help members impacted by COVID19 get work at places where there is now high demand for more workers and where there are positions available.

NDIS Finding Support Workers - provides platforms to match up NDIS participants looking for support workers with NDIS providers looking for new staff.

Blue Mountains Community Sector Jobs - listings on the MCRN website for current employment opportunities in the Blue Mountains and surrounds.

CovidVolunteering - aims to connect willing volunteers with local initiatives, helping them to achieve their goals and serve the needs of all Australians during this time of crisis.

Volunteer to support people impacted by COVID-19 &/or other emergencies - people can volunteer to provide welfare checks, urgent household maintenance, deliver supplies, pick-up and drop-off of medications/groceries, and essential transportation.


Government Service Delivery

Blue Mountains City Council Closures and Community Updates - for the safety of our community and staff, Council has made the difficult decision to close some facilities.

NSW Department of Communities & Justice - Information about how services are operating during COVID-19, including Housing ServicesChild and Family Services, Corrective Services, Courts, Tribunals and Legal Services, Youth Justice NSW, Seniors, people with disability and carers,people with disability and carers, and Domestic and family violence.

The following hotlines are available 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday:

  • Victims Access Line: 1800 633 063
  • Aboriginal Contact Line: 1800 019 123
  • Families and Friends of Missing Persons Unit: 1800 227 772
  • Specialist Victims Support Service: 1800 411 822

You can also lodge online forms for victims support at https://bit.ly/39BRE9O

Service NSW - access services online, eg, renew your licence or rego, apply for Cost of Living savings, etc.

Service NSW – Driver Testing - Driver Testing across NSW has now been postponed for a minimum period of two months. The change comes into effect from Monday, 30 March in response to the latest health advice and risks associated with COVID-19. It applies to all practical driver assessments conducted by Service NSW.  For more information, visit our website or call us at 13 77 88.


For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Keep Our Mob Safe, Stop the Spread - Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on coronavirus (COVID-19).


For People from Sexuality and Gender Diverse Communities & People Living with HIV

COVID-19 and Our Communities - ACON has compiled resources with guidance from state and federal health agencies.  These include general info on COVID-19, sex, PrEP, HIV, Mental Health.


For Carers and People with a Disability

CarersNSW Australia - Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information for carers.

Carer Hangout - Carer Peer Connect runs an online (video) drop-in centre for carers across New South Wales. Carer Hangouts is a safe space for carers to come together and chat to others during this period of social isolation.

Australian Government Department of Social Services Information & referrals for people with disability and their supporters about coronavirus - info about the Disability Information Helpline, COVID-19 accessible resources, who else you can talk to, looking after yourself, and more.

NDIS coronavirus information - videos using Auslan and animations to answer NDIS coronavirus (COVID-19) frequently asked questions.

PWDA covid-19 Hub - general and disability-focused information on coronavirus related issues.

Council for Intellectual Disability COVID-19 - easy read information for people with intellectual disability.


For Young People

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Advice for Young People - information and resources from Youth Action.

Digital Lunchbreak - ACYP has developed Digital Lunchbreak to assist children and young people with finding online resources and activities to do at home in their lunchbreak, around learning hours and on weekends.


For Parents

NSW Government information about COVID-19 and NSW schools, universities and childcare centres - latest advice, minimising risk.

Katoomba Out of School Hours Care service is offering services for primary school aged children at no cost to families until 28 June.  This includes all before and after school care as well as vacation care.  Contact 4782 2533 or email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

COVID-19: eSafety Commissioner Online Safety Guide for Parents & Carers - covers some of the key online safety issues for young people and includes a range of practical tips and advice on what to do if things go wrong. It covers common online safety issues like managing time online, using parent controls and setting and responding to issues like cyberbullying, inappropriate content, sending nudes and contact from strangers.

NSW School Updates app - allows parents and carers to receive operational status updates for NSW public schools.

NSW Department of Education Parent and Carers Toolkit - handpicked list of top apps, books, podcasts, websites and self-care tips for the holidays.

UNICEF Resources for Australian parents, carers & teachers - UNICEF’s latest information to help support you and your family during the coronavirus pandemic.

Resources for parents From Emerging Minds:

How to manage caring for children at home during this time (YouTube clip) - Tips from the Child Trauma Academy's Dr Bruce Perry on the impact Covid-19 has on children, families and our community.

Karitane Virtual Family Support Services - parents can now self-refer online for 100% digital family support including virtual home visits, toddler behaviour and mental health virtual support, virtual residential stay and daily online parenting workshops.

raisingchildren.net.au - free, reliable, up-to-date and independent information to help your family grow and thrive together.  Articles, videos and interactive resources are tailored to different ages and stages, taking you from nurturing a newborn to raising a confident, resilient teen – and helping you to look after yourself as a parent too.


Online Learning Resources

Learning from home - advice and resources for parents and carers to support student success when learning remotely, includes school holiday activities.

Cool Australia's Education Resources - units, lessons and activities are Australian curriculum aligned and FREE to parents, educators and students. You can choose to follow full units of study or pick individual lessons to fit in with your curriculum.

Online Learning Resources for Teachers & Parents - digital resources, as well as professional learning materials from Education Services Australia.. Aligned to the Australian Curriculum and the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework, these resources are quality assured and freely available to all Australian teachers, students and parents or carers.

ReachOut's Online Learning Activities for Wellbeing - classroom resources, teacher programs, teacher wellbeing resources and information and support from Reach Out.

School on TV - ABC Education will extend its educational programming on ABC ME to support students and caregivers at home, from 10am to 3pm each weekday during Term 2.  The expanded schedule moves from blocks of primary school content in the mornings through to secondary school content in the afternoons.

Free TAFE Courses Online - TAFE NSW, in conjunction with the NSW Government, is offering a number of fee-free short courses that can be completed in just days or weeks, offering practical skills and experiences across a range of industries.

TechMates - a free online, volunteer-powered program through Leep providing one on one support to assist people with tech skils such as online banking, online shopping, social media, video chatting and texting, accessing online new sources and identifying scams.  Refer a learner hereVolunteer to be a mentor here.

Be Connected is an Australia wide initiative empowering all Australians to thrive in a digital world. Providing online learning resources as well as a Network of community partners - the Be Connected Network - who offer support so you can develop your digital skills and confidence. The Be Connected Learning Portal is free to use and contains a featured blog post on Coronavirus: how to get advice, stay connected and shop online with practical advice and tips.

COVID-19 Online Training - free online course to help you be safe and reduce the risk.


Local Food Services

Who is Delivering - find local Blue Mountains restaurants, cafes, catering and event businesses offering takeaway and delivery.  Food businesses offering takeaway and/or delivery can also register on this website.

Blue Mountains Menus - Facebook group where local restaurants, cafes, eateries, etc can post and promote their menus, offers and deals available for takeaway and/or delivery.

Interactive map of local businesses - click on the map icons to view local businesses, including food, providing take-away, delivered, or online services.  (Susan Templeman's website)

Chef's Market Home Delivery Service (Katoomba-based) - deliveries to your door Mon-Fri for elderly, disabled and vulnerable persons.  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.of phone 0409 125 549 for a brochure.

Supermarket Community Hours - Coles and Woolworths have dedicated times when elderly, disabled and vulnerable persons can access stores.

Priority Home Delivery Services - Coles and Woolworths provide access to delivery services for the elderly, disabled and vulnerable persons as well as those who are required to self-isolate.

Basic Food Boxes - Coles and Woolworths provide standard non-perishable basic items for the elderly, disabled and vulnerable persons as well as those who are required to self-isolate delivered to the home via Australia Post.

Supermarket priority home delivery service for NDIS participants - participants of NDIS can now purchase grocery items from a range of supermarkets to be delivered to their home.

Meals on Wheels Blue Mountains - for NDIS participants and registered My Aged Care persons struggling with food.  Nutritious frozen meals are delivered weekly to your door.  We also delivery salads, sandwiches and fresh scones with jam and cream from our Cafe​ (Ben Roberts Cafe Lawson). Delivery days are from Tuesday to Friday, depending on your area.  Call us on 4759 2811.

Meals on Wheels LIthgow - provided through the Lithgow Information  & Neighbourhood Centre and extended to anyone who may need some assistance as an interim measure.  Call LINC on 6352 2077.

Emergency Food Boxes - Seniors and people with disabilities in the Blue Mountains who are self-isolating due to COVID-19, and have no access to essential supplies, can receive Emergency Food Boxes thanks to a partnership between the Blue Mountains City Council and the Rapid Relief Team.  Contact Council at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 4723 5000 (Lower Mountains) or 4780 5000 (Upper Mountains).

Fresh Food Program, Food Parcels, Frozen Food Program, Friday Food Program & Food Vouchers - available to those in need via Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre, 62 White Cross Road, Winmalee.

Fresh Fruit & Veg - every Wednesday 12.30 to 1 pm from Blaxland Gospel Chapel, 36 Rusden Road, Blaxland, for anyone struggling to put food on the table.  No questions asked.

Emergency Food Parcels - available to those in need via Springwood Neighbourhood Centre, leave a message on 4751 3033 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Food Hampers - every Thursday from 9 am to 1 pm from Belong Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre, 9 New Street, Lawson or call 4759 2592.  No questions asked.

Fresh Food Hampers & Frozen Meals - every Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12 to 3 pm at the Salvation Army store, 33-35 Waratah Street, Katoomba.  No ID required or questions asked.

Fresh Food & Other Supports - a directory of fresh food and related services available across the Blue Mountains.