COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE – 3/4/2020 We made it to Friday with yes, some hiccups, but also good outcomes. ‘Fingers crossed’, you will not need to hear from me over the weekend which I am sure is very welcomed news?🤔 😊
COVID-19 RENTAL GRANT - Funding is now available for anyone who have lost their job due to the impacts of COVID-19, do not have access to other financial assistance, and have exhausted all other options. This residential rental grant is a one-off payment of up to 4 weeks rent (maximum of $2000) and is paid directly to your lessor. For more information please go to: www.qld.gov.au/housing/renting/rent-assistance/bond-loan/covid19-rental-grant OR call Residential Tenancy Authority or 1800 497 161.
HOME CONFINEMENT RULES - there are some new exceptions below (yes, I am hearing you, however the changes reflect the needs identified and not covered previously) on home confinement, movement and gathering. • to obtain essential goods and services • receive medical treatment or health care services • exercise, either alone or with one other person or those who reside in the same household • do work or volunteering that is essential and cannot be done from home • to visit another person’s house, as long as there are no more than 2 people who are not ordinarily members of that household • to visit a terminally ill relative or attend a funeral • to assist, care for or support immediate family members or close friends • to attend Court or comply with a Court order • to attend a childcare facility, school, university, or other educational institution to receive instruction that is not possible to receive at home. • to assist with an investigation by police or other law enforcement authority • all shared custody arrangements of children under 18 years of age, whether informal or court-ordered, can continue as normal. You are allowed to leave the house to take children from one parent’s home to the other parent’s home • to avoid illness, injury or the risk of harm • to comply with directions of a government agency If you do need to leave your home for one of these permitted reasons, you may do so with members of your household, or with one person who is not a member of your household.
ASSISTANCE FOR OUR ALLABILITIES - If you require assistance to go out, you can be accompanied by more than one person who is not a member of your household, for example a person with a disability may be accompanied by more than one carer.
ESSENTIAL GOODS AND SERVICES - You are able to leave the house to obtain essential goods and services needed for the necessities of life and ‘operation of our society’ (Guys, I realise you have queried this, however that is the wording in the directive). Examples include: to obtain food, social services, healthcare and childcare, employment services, domestic and family violence and child protection services, mental health services, services provided to victims, and legal services related to these, as well as donating blood. www.covid19.qld.gov.au/government-actions/gatherings
BORDER RESTRICTIONS - New restrictions began at midnight (Friday 12.01 am Friday 3 April 2020) which will only allow Queensland residents and those considered an ‘exempt person’ to cross the border. Exempt people will still need to apply for a border pass if coming in from interstate or overseas. Updated border restrictions are available here: www.covid19.qld.gov.au/government-actions/border-closing
NOOSA NATIONAL PARK - There has been much confusion over the closure of the Noosa National Park Coastal Walking Track, however, at this stage, it is open to the public except for what has been identified as high risk areas of the Boiling Pot Lookout and Dolphin Point. The day use area at the Noosa National Park is closed, however the car park remains open. Laguna Lookout remains closed. For more info, please see the amended map at Tourism Noosa, or follow this link: parks.des.qld.gov.au/park-alerts/17795.html
BUSINESSES - A reminder to all that the Noosa Business Hotline is open to assist with accessing grants and services, and at the Business Roundtable today, we concentrated on the ‘gaps’ that we have been advocating for, including the predominant concerns of the commercial tenant/landlord negotiations and aspects for both to reduce/negate rent including land tax. And as reported previously, the ‘fine print’ in the mortgage deferrals, and criteria for business assistance based on payroll. On the good news front, Noosa should be ready with its own online portal, to connect local produce demand with supply, and to alleviate the ‘disconnect’ currently occurring including with our fresh seafood. By next Wednesday the team should be ready to go ‘live’, and we will need everyone’s support to share the ‘buy local’ message to support our businesses. Thank you to Kirk and team – a great effort in just one week!!
EASTER PROVISIONS – There have been many enquiries regarding access to Noosa during the holiday break. The directive from Government to all Queenslanders is very simple, now, or at holiday time. Everyone is to stay at home, in their own communities. That directive does not have an exemption for having a ‘break’ or holiday. We are in lock down, and as I said last night, I will do whatever is needed to keep our community safe from another outbreak.
For a Friday night sign off, an important message. In amongst what is a confusing, frustrating and traumatic time across our community, Queensland and Australia , there is so much hope, and light. It is vital to concentrate on what we have, versus what we don’t. What we can do, instead of what we can’t. Take a moment to grab that sunrise or sunset, the ‘zooming’ with friends and family far away. Share a smile and ‘good morning’ with that stranger 1.5 metres away whilst lining up at the supermarket, or as you pass each other on the street. More and more I am seeing the body language of ‘avoidance’ as we go about our essentials. The averting of eye contact, and a rushed, head down ‘hunch’. Please, please don’t? 🙏 For so many, who are now needing alternative forms of ‘contact’ more than ever, these simple kindnesses will not put anyone at risk, and will make such a difference to what a reality for many of is our much-loved residents. Intense loneliness.
Thank you again to our frontliners, volunteers, staff in our Departments and at Noosa Council. To our Governments who regardless of some ‘glitches’ during this time, are doing a ‘thumbs up’ job. Yes, some gaps are to be still addressed, however what I have seen in such a short time, it is appreciated. To all ‘Noosans’ who have risen to the challenge, and work for the ‘greater good’ – you are gold. 👏👏And to my EO’s Lisa and Sharon, who are dealing with the emotions, anger and questioning over the restrictions, decisions and ensuing implications to constituents. Bless you both! 🙏💕
As I started. Fingers crossed that I will not need to do any updates over the weekend. However rest easy, and be assured that I am watching over you and our wonderful home, working with our frontliners, and will let you know of anything that is vital for you to know. And I am here online or a FB message away if you have a concern, or just a chat.
ERGON-ENERGEX COMMUNITY GRANTS EXTENDED - The deadline for applications to the 2020 Ergon-Energy Community Fund has been extended to 5:00pm Monday 6 April 2020. Grants of up to $5,000 are available for not-for-profit community groups and organisations across the state. For more information, and to apply, visit your applicable energy provider website at energex.com.au/communityfund or ergon.com.au/communityfund. ... See MoreSee Less
COVID – 19 DAILY UPDATE APRIL 2, 2020 Evening everyone 🙏 More supports, advice and yes, I know how hard this is, more restrictions announced again today.
NATIONAL PARKS – after the recent closure of camping areas, tomorrow will see the closure of our National Parks. This is sadly due to people still travelling from other areas to visit and people continuing to congregate in groups. The closures include Noosa National Park, Laguna Lookout, Cooloola Recreation Area, Teewah Beach, and Double Island Point, and I have attached a map. Yes hard, however we do have other areas to enjoy for our exercise, and I ask everyone to work to make sure these are not closed down due to the behaviour of some. The message? Focus on what we have, and report anyone putting remaining areas at risk of closure to our police.
NORTH SHORE / NOOSA NATIONAL PARK access – QPS are working with QPWS and Noosa Council to install a large message board at the entry to Hastings Street and Moorindil Street to alert people to the closures. BEACHES – QPS met with Noosa Surf Lifesaving today. Our lifeguards will be making announcements over the PA daily that the beach is for exercise only – no sunbaking or ‘lounging’. Signage is now up across Noosa Main Beach, Noosa Woods and Noosa River. If crowds begin to swell and ignore lifeguards, QPS will attend and direct people away with beach closures a last resort if directives are not abided by.
FREEE CHILDCARE FOR WORKERS - The Australian Government has announced free childcare for working parents, helping to keep around 13,000 childcare centres open and Australians in work. Links will be posted once available.
JOBS HUB - A Jobs Hub has been established to help people out of work because of COVID to transition to other jobs, particularly in sectors facing increased demand. Visit www.dese.gov.au/
PRIVATE HOSPITALS - Queensland Health will now partner with private hospitals to increase the capacity of the health system during the COVID-19 emergency. The Australian Government will provide a viability guarantee for all private hospitals in return for making their facilities fully available to state health systems during the emergency and recovery, as well avoid any stand downs of staff.
BACKPACKERS A concerted effort between QPS, local businesses and the LDMG has been undertaken to ensure that backpackers whom are caught here and prevented from heading to their next destination due to the ‘lock down’ are receiving the relevant information they need . Many hostels have reduced occupancy so are better able to comply with physical distancing and other rules.
HOMELESSNESS – New measures are currently being setup to further support anyone experiencing homelessness in our community. As well extra funding for those already providing services, and I have spoken to these providers to call me if they have a shortage of rooms .If you are aware of someone at risk, or has been instructed to self-isolate due to symptoms or exposure to a positive case, please contact our office.
2020 FLU VACCINATIONS National advice is for Australian’s to vaccinate against seasonal influenza in April to reduce the risk of a double up of flu and COVID-19 as both diseases affect the respiratory system.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS – As reported, I have written to the Premier regarding your frustrations on what was experienced during the lead up to, during, as well the ongoing issues, and have sought a review of our processes, with recommendations to ensure this will not happen again.
A REMINDER THAT HOLIDAYING IN ANY REGION IN QLD IS NOT PERMITTED - Holiday accommodation owners, operators and organisations(and residents in every region) have been advised that for Queenslanders to comply with the Health Directive to ‘stay at home’, holiday bookings for a day, week or otherwise during this ‘lock down’ is not following the directives. We do not want to see anyone fined, so please, if unsure about what an ‘exception’ is to this directive, which includes accommodating Noosa workers or residents displaced, please contact Tourism Noosa, 13HEALTH, or our police.
GENERAL REMINDERS – Over the last week, we have posted many ‘rules’ regarding our lockdown, however if you need to revisit so I do not have to repeat, please head to the links below, which have every piece of information you may need.
LAST WORD - From the content in my inboxes, conversations on the phone, Facebook comments and posts, I understand your angst, anger and frustration. However, the Federal Government, who are determining the path we must follow to get quickly to the other side of this pandemic, are outlining this path in the best interests of all of us, even though it may not feel like it. The answer to our frustrations is not to argue over the finer ‘detail’, which is creating further divides, and utilising resources that we do not have. By working together on what the desired end result is, will get us there that much quicker. And that ‘end result’ I am sure everyone would agree, is to get back to our lives, as we knew it, and the freedoms we enjoyed but may not have appreciated? To have our businesses back operating, our staff back at their jobs, our families back in our arms. The simple message to achieve this? Stay home, wash hands frequently, follow the 1.5 when you need to go out under the essential exemptions, and follow the directives. I for one have never been very good at ‘following’ orders, however when it is for the betterment for others, I most definitely do not have a problem. And just like we experienced during our fires, I have no hesitation in doing whatever is needed to keep you as safe as possible, and get you, your loved ones and our collective wellbeing, which includes our economy, back to where you want it to be.
Until tomorrow night, as always, stay strong, call me if you need anything, and check out the links below if any concerns. #wecan #wewill #together👍🙏 Sandy
MP NEWSLETTER MARCH 2020 – How our world, and lives have changed since last month. What has not changed is how incredible our community is, rising to the COVID-19 challenge, and how very proud I am to be your MP at this time.👍So much to convey on multiple fronts, including PRE-COVID shares of welcoming our long awaited MSQ officer, ‘high fiving’ with our year six students at St Thomas More, and launching the YELLOWt initiative. We are all looking forward to when we can come together like this again. 🙏: eepurl.com/gfXGoT... See MoreSee Less
COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE (Late, apologies!) 1/4/2020 The phone and inboxes continue to overflow with queries, and I will attempt to summarise the key ones and keep as simple as possible, as due to the complexity of restrictions, the links contain many pages ☹ RESTRICTIONS There is ongoing confusion regarding current allowable activities and restrictions. It is important for everyone to remember that the Federal Government are mandating overarching restrictions to slow the spread of the virus, however each State can introduce tougher measures on these at any stage in order to achieve this. In Queensland we are currently under a ‘Home Confinement Directive’ (HCD) and there are only a small number(4) of allowable (or exempt) reasons for residents to leave their homes, which I have posted previously. To reiterate, as this is important. Apart from risking the fines introduced, if we do not comply and don’t halt the spread of this virus, tougher measures may be introduced. We do not want this, as many more of our businesses, and workers, will be impacted, as well our current ability to exercise in public space, including our beaches. We all want to get back to ‘normal’ as quick as possible, and those that put this at risk, are not considering the wellbeing of our community. I will try to clarify some of the confusion that has reached our office, however please contact us at any time if you need further information or check out the HCD at www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-p... WHAT DEFINES AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE? There are many, including those that ensure we have power, food, medical. There are those that continue to create many queries and FB comments such as hairdressing, which I still cannot succinctly answer, however have included the link for clarification? A couple of examples that may explain the takeaway coffee/food queries. Takeaway’s and home delivery services, workplace/uni/school canteens, food provision at hospitals/prisons, food markets, supermarkets, organisations providing food for our homeless, all operate with the criteria of the 1.5m physical distancing, implemented and monitored by employees or contractors of the retail food service provider. Note that gathering for the purposes of ordering or collecting must not exceed one person per 4 square metres; and a retail food service provider may only operate to the extent they are not promoting or facilitating persons consuming takeaway food or drink on or adjacent to their premises. Example: tables and chairs should be removed, and all reasonable steps taken by the retail food service to direct persons away from gathering to consume takeaway food or drink on or adjacent to, the relevant premise. The takeout? Yes you can buy an ice-cream, coffee or any other ‘takeaway’, however you must take it ‘away’. And according to the HCD, you cannot hang by the river consuming with a friend, and I cannot imagine how we could consume whilst exercising? I know I would be in trouble, as I grab ‘takeout’s’ on the run, and consume whilst driving, which I have been informed is also fineable, but not under the HCD.Yes, this is hard, however always go back to the intention of the directive, and that is to prevent ‘clustering’. At this stage, retail shops have not been mandated to close, however, business owners must be mindful that people are only permitted to leave their homes on the current exemption including to pick up essential supplies such as groceries and medications. If you were to use 'pub test', would your retail offering would be considered as essential supplies? This I find difficult, as what is essential for one, is very different from another. RECREATIONAL BOATING - As published yesterday, recreational boating under the mandated home confinement restrictions, is not permitted. However, boating when it is fishing for food or for essential travel such as to work, shop or medical is permitted. Active water sports such as kayaking or paddle boarding etc are permitted under the exemption of exercise. Jet skis are not considered exercise, and we obtained confirmation on this with Maritime Safety this morning. HOMELESSNESS – We confirmed today that new measures are being put into place to support any resident in our community who is without a home, or at risk of through displacement, and we should know more tomorrow. In the meantime, if you know anyone in our community in this situation, or has been instructed to self-isolate through coming into contact with a confirmed case ,have symptoms, or cannot return home as they have elderly or vulnerable that may be impacted by their role as an essential worker, please have them contact our office on 53193100 FIFO WORKERS - only critical interstate fly-in-fly-out mine workers will be allowed into Queensland, effective midnight Saturday 4 April to protect remote and regional communities and local mine workforces. The changes do not affect FIFO or DIDO workers travelling from within Queensland, however these workers need to adhere to the rules of the state they are travelling to. Please be aware that current rules can change at any time. For more information www.qld.gov.au/about/newsroom/queensland-border-restrictions and scroll down to exemptions. HOME DELIVERIES – There were reports by Facebookers last night that Coles and Woolworths are no longer doing home deliveries. I rang both Tewantin Woolworths, and Noosa Coles, to seek clarification. In short, they have both had to ‘rejuggle’ the demand/supply chain, and both have, or are introducing services to accommodate, including priority home deliveries and concierge services, care packs, specialised hours for our elderly and separately our frontliners, to shop. More announcements on Friday, however please contact these, and other shops, as they are all working hard to ensure that those that are vulnerable, elderly or have a health condition, are prioritised. BORDER SECURITY - Stricter measures at the Queensland border with New South Wales will come into effect from Friday 3 April with all travellers requiring a border pass. To apply for a border pass please head to: www.qld.gov.au/border-pass. SENIORS CARE ARMY - a Care Army of professionals and volunteers has been established to rally around our seniors, which is wonderful, and a great addition to our other initiatives. To register as a volunteer please call: 1800 173 349.
There have been hundreds of other queries regarding a need for clarification, and in the majority, I believe we have been able to answer. However, some we are currently waiting on responses from various Ministers, as they are complex for simple reasons, including that when the HCD may not seem to agree with what is currently a National statement? For example, weddings restricted to 5 persons, however the HCD is a maximum of 2 in public, which would preclude a wedding as no celebrant could be in attendance. In addition, weddings do not come under any ‘exemptions’ for being away from home. The interpretation? Either wait until ‘lock down’ is over, or get married at home with a celebrant online? 😊 So many aspects to consider, however If in doubt, refer back to the HCD , as that is Queensland’s directive. www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-p... To finish. I am in constant contact with our police, Local Disaster Management Group and Departments regarding a range of matters, including reports of clustering on the beach, visitors trying to find accommodation illegally, or coming to see friends for a day, which is also yes, illegal. The message has been repeated multiple times and is clear. Stay at home. The only exemptions are the exemptions. Catching up with buds (which we would all love to do!) and share a ‘coldy’, dinner and stories of this time, will need to wait until this lock down is over. Hard? Yes. However as has been pointed out by our gorgeous matriarchs and patriarchs, this is nothing in comparison with what they encountered during wartime. They were being asked to give their lives for their country, we are being asked to stay at home. I think that says it all. Until tomorrow night, stay home, stay ‘1.5’, and as a very, very wise resident said to me. “This too shall pass”.🙏 Sandy ... See MoreSee Less