In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, NTCOSS has created this central resource to bring together as much advice specific to the Northern Territory’s social and community services sector and organisations. It includes advice specific to social and community services organisations and the sector in the NT as well as general advice for Territorians. We are attempting to aggregate information so it is easy to find, however the most up to date and accurate information will always be found in the critical resources sections below.
What NTCOSS is doing
NTCOSS CEO Deborah Di Natale has been attending Northern Territory Government briefings and actively working with the Department of the Chief Minister, Treasury and Territory Families.
NTCOSS is co-chairing the Not-for-profit Northern Territory Government Partnership Group (NNPG) which includes Heads of Department from Health, Treasury, Territory Families and other departments and feeds directly into the Chief Minister’s office.
We’ve been canvassing our members and community sector leaders by direct contact, through our member alerts, sector updates and by organised meetings and teleconferences to hear the diverse issues facing the sector so we can properly represent them when we speak to government. If you are a member and have not received our recent member alerts or you would like to participate in our next teleconference, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to receive our sector updates, please click contact email@example.com.
We are constantly working to get clarity on emerging issues for the sector. We’re interested in hearing concerns and issues from workers, managers, clients and volunteers in the NT community services sector so we can try to get the best outcomes possible. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (08) 8948 2665 if you have any questions or would like to send us additional information about how this is affecting your organisation, your clients or your community.
NTCOSS is advocating for the sector and vulnerable people in the NT by:
- Advocating for support for vulnerable Territorians including easing cost of living pressures by extending concessions schemes, expanding and guaranteeing hardship policies for essential services such as no late fees or disconnections, limiting and eliminating rental evictions and developing support networks for people in isolation.
- Advocating for economic stimulus and support for the social and community services sector: including economic stimulus similar to business and industry, automatic extensions to contracts with less than six month to run, flexible service agreements and funding for agencies who need to scale up to meet demand.
Important NT information:
- From 4pm on Tuesday 24 March, strict border controls will apply in the Northern Territory (NT) for all access points.
- From midnight on Wednesday 1 April, all entering the NT from interstate or overseas will be placed into forced quarantine at a hotel, with the NTG covering associated costs. Read the full statement from the Chief Minister here.
- From midnight on Friday 3 April, all entering the NT from interstate or overseas will be placed into forced quarantine at a hotel, and will have to themselves cover associated costs.
- From midnight Wednesday 25 March, new restrictions apply to events and gatherings.
- Remote NT communities have been closed to all non-essential travel. Essential services and the supply and maintenance of essential services will continue.
Northern Territory Hotlines:
- 1800 008 002: Northern Territory COVID-19 hotline number. This number works within the NT only.
- 1800 020 080: National COVID-19 hotline number.
- 1800 518 189: Remote services hotline
- (08) 8922 8044: If you are in Darwin, you can call the Public Health Unit.
Travel to Remote Communities
Following agreement from the National Cabinet, the movement into certain remote areas is being restricted to protect some of our most vulnerable Australians.
From 11:59pm Thursday 26 March, anyone wishing to enter designated areas will need to self-isolate for 14 days before they can enter. This is a requirement that will be made by the Minister for Health under the Commonwealth’s Biosecurity Act 2015 and includes residents of communities in these areas.
The areas where restrictions apply will be communicated by the State and Territory Governments prior to commencement.
Governments will support people who do not have appropriate alternate arrangements to self-isolate.
Only approved remote essential workers can now visit remote communities.
People already in remote communities should stay there unless it is essential to leave for medical treatment.
To see the entire press release regarding this, please click here.
Critical Resources – Northern Territory
Secure NT – Please follow this link for the most up to date information from the Northern Territory Government regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) including:
- How to stay safe
- Resources such as posters and messages in Aboriginal language
- Facts and myths about COVID-19
- Information for remote communities including messages in language, return to community and the latest travel advice.
Critical Resources – Australia
Health.gov.au has the most reliable and up to date information about COVID-19 and includes information about what COVID-19 is, symptoms of illness, how to seek medical attention, getting tested, who is most at risk and how it spreads. Specific information at the website includes:
- The Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert page, updated daily.
- Australian Government Response to the COVID-19 outbreak
- COVID-19 current situations and case numbers.
Personal hygiene precautions:
The most important thing workers and those receiving services from the social and community services sector, and the public more broadly can do to stop the spread of the virus is to practice good hygiene. Good hygiene includes:
- covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue.
- disposing of tissues properly.
- washing your hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet.
- using alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
- cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
- if you are sick, avoiding contact with others and staying more than 1.5 metres away from people.
NT Travel Restrictions
In the NT, remote communities have been closed to all non-essential travel in response to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. See the NT Government’s advice here, and the latest media release regarding new restrictions when travelling into remote communities here.
All interstate and intrastate travel by Northern Territory Public Service (NTPS) staff is restricted to essential travel only.
The NGO sector should follow the advice the NTPS is giving its own employees and not undertake interstate or intrastate travel unless essential.
If you are unsure of whether you should travel, call the Remote Services Hotline on 1800 518 189.
NTCOSS is working to gain more clarity for frontline support staff employed within the social and community services sector.
NT Government Stimulus: $5 million for not-for-profit and community organisations
The Northern Territory Government has announced a round of stimulus measures today as part of its $65 million Jobs Rescue & Recovery Plan. Read the full media release here.
Please follow the links from the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation Immediate Work Grant page for eligibility criteria, how to apply and department contacts.
NTCOSS Sector Updates
To stay updated with NTCOSS Sector updates, you can subscribe to our eBulletin here.
See our past eBulletins and Sector Updates below:
- World Health Organisation – resources and information about COVID-19 globally.