Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Hardship support and other support available

The Tasmanian State government is establishing the ‘COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund’ to ensure targeted support of up to $2000 or four weeks rent, and is available for tenants suffering from extreme hardship. Available from next week through Housing Connect.

Housing connect: 1800 800 588, 24 hours a day, seven days a week


Tenants Union: (03) 6223 2641 or 1300 652 641

MRC Tas has been given a generous donation to provide free fresh and dried food boxes to people who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 (available to temporary visa holders and other migrants).

Boxes are packed with healthy, nutritious, and where possible, culturally appropriate food, intended for cooking in a home kitchen.

For more information and to register for this service, please call MRC Tasmania on 03 6221 0999 or email

Supported by the Jetty Foundation and the Rotary Club of North Hobart. Delivery of boxes around Hobart and surrounding suburbs is being supported by the Glenorchy District Football Club.

The Phoenix Centre‘s Cultural Community Connections program supports the health and wellbeing of culturally and linguistically diverse communities during COVID-19 and beyond.

This new program provides in-language resources in the areas of mental health, financial, social, medical, and other identified key areas of concern, individual support for psychosocial issues resulting from COVID-19 impacts, and Case Coordination to link people with a CALD background with education, employment, training, and other services as they re-open.

For more information please email, or for more information and to refer a client please call:

Southern Tasmania: Beth Lord or Emily Churches on (03) 6221 0999
Northern Tasmania: Kelli Charles on (03) 6724 2820, or Emily Churches on (03) 6221 0999

Emergency relief from the Tasmanian government is not income support, however these temporary visa holders in financial hardship due to the pandemic can access an individual pandemic isolation assistance grant of $250, up to $1000 for a family. You don’t have to be in quarantine. Apply by calling the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline: 1800 671 738.

Rent relief up to $2000 from the Tasmanian Government for those in financial hardship due to COVID-19 can apply by contacting Housing Connect: 1800  800 588. This starts 25 May 2020, and includes temporary visa holders.

If you have no income, savings and no access to other support you may be eligible for a once-off emergency relief payment from the Australian government. Apply online through the Red Cross.

Centrelink Special Benefit is a payment for financial hardship. Check eligibility and the residency rules here.

Some temporary visa holders can access up to $20 000 of their superannuation savings. Check eligibility here.

National Debt Helpline has free financial counselling. Phone 1800 007 007.

Beyond Blue has a dedicated Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service. Trained mental health professionals are available for support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via phone, web chat and email.

If you have no income support and need to stretch your finances, consider registering for a series of food box deliveries by phoning MRC Tas.

If you’d like practical help to manage self-isolation consider asking for help from:

If you have the capacity to support local organisations as a volunteer, this can keep you and the community healthy during this period of disruption.  Applying for a formal volunteer position through Volunteering Tasmania is like applying for a job. It can take time but the experience is valuable for your job seeking, developing different skills, and broadening your community connections.

International students experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can apply to the Fast Track Safety Net Grant Scheme from UTAS for a once-off grant of $350.

The Safety Net Grant Scheme is a once-off grant from UTAS of $2000.  These are emergency supports, not income support.

If you have held a student visa for 12 months or more you can access up to $10,000 of your Australian superannuation tax-free.


For the most up to date information and resources about coronavirus please visit

Tasmanian Government coronavirus (COVID-19) information and advice:

Translated resources

Australian Government Department of Health website:

SBS has launched a multilingual online portal to provide information on the COVID-19 outbreak for Australia’s diverse communities.  The portal provides the latest news on the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic in Australia, as well as features explaining government policy and health advice in 63 languages.

Coronavirus COVID-19 information – what to do if you become unwell – by the Tasmanian Government Department of Health (Launceston General Hospital). This resource has also been made into audio recordings in a number of languages by the Australian Red Cross – Tasmania Bi Cultural Community Health Program:

Translated information for parents regarding Term 2 School arrangements is now available on the Department of Education’s website.

The Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website has information in 62 languages in a drop down menu, which summarises all the main messages (restrictions on movement, good hygiene, symptoms of the disease, help for workers, etc).

Translated information about Citizenship can be found here:

Migration Council Australia (MCA) has developed a Government sponsored multilingual resource for Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities about COVID-19, its impact and available support.

With the MyAusCovid-19 app you can:
– Browse articles to find out more about COVID-19, tips for prevention, caring for individuals and community, information on government response, and access to health care, financial assistance and support
– Search for topics or points of interest
– View short animations with helpful summaries of specific topics
– Find useful tips and contacts to help you adjust during COVID-19

The Humans Like Us website has a digital library of handwashing videos, posters especially for children (preschool, primary school, high school), and information in pictures (accessible to everyone, no matter what their level of literacy), featuring over 30 languages compiled by region:

Languages from Africa: Swahili/Kiswahili, Kirundi, Kinyarwanda, Dinka, Nuer, Lingala, Somali, Amharic, Oromo/Afaan Oromoo, Tigringya.

Languages from the Middle East: Arabic, Hazaragi, Assyrian, Kurdish Kurmanji, Kurdish Sorani, Dari, Pashto, Farsi/Persian.

Languages from Asia: Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, Urdu, Tibetan, Hmong, Chin Hakka/Hakha, Chin Falam, Zomi/Zou, Karen, Karenni, Rohingya, Burmese, Nepali/Napali.

Resources in 51 languages – A directory of information released by various Australian government health departments, compiled by language
COVID-19 related information presented in easy English, developed by Access Easy English.

Audio Resources

Updated: 03/06/2020

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