State and feds announce COVID lifeline

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. (Louisa Jones) 243047_06

By Luke Voogt

Geelong and Surf Coast locals who lose work during Victoria’s latest lockdown can apply for one-off payments of up to $600, following a joint announcement today.

State government reached an agreement with federal government to provide the payments to workers in Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hot spots.

These hot spots include greater Geelong, the Moorabool and Surf Coast shires and the Borough of Queenscliffe, along with the entirety of greater Melbourne.

Workers in these hotspots that lose 20 or more hours of work during the lockdown will receive $600, while those who lose 8-20 hours will receive $375.

“Should the Victorian lockdown be extended, the additional features of the upgraded and revised economic support arrangements proposed by the Commonwealth will be activated by agreement,” federal senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said.

State government will fund payments for Victorian workers who live outside of these areas but are still subject to the lockdown.

Premier Daniel Andrews today announced up to 90,000 businesses eligible for one of two separate grants for during the May-June lockdown will also receive additional payments during this lockdown.

Businesses that received or will receive the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund will receive a $3000 payment, while those covered under the Business Costs Assistance Program will receive $2000.

Businesses eligible for the $201.8 million in new funding include restaurants, cafes, bars, event suppliers, tourism and accommodation providers, and nonessential retailers.

State government will make the payments to eligible businesses and sole traders automatically next week.

“People start needing support from day one – hour one – of a lockdown,” Mr Andrews said.

“We know this is tough on Victorian businesses and we’re standing with them, just as we’ve done from the very start of the pandemic.”

State government funded more than $500 million in COVID-19 support through the last restrictions period with $461.2 million allocated for the Business Costs Assistance Program and Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund.

Government has paid $413 million of those allocations to more than 86,000 small and medium-sized businesses and sole traders.

The Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions is working with another 22,000 applicants for the Business Costs Assistance Program to finalise applications requiring further information to confirm eligibility.

State government expects thousands of these applicants to be successful and receive their payment by the end of next week.

To apply for individual payments visit