Media Centre

Helping Sporting Clubs And Associations Through The Pandemic

The Victorian Government is supporting state sport associations, state sport and recreation bodies and regional academies get through the pandemic with support from the Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Survival Package. Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence announced more than $12.7 million in grants have been approved from the Government’s $40 million package for the sport and active recreation sector. Almost 70 organisations have been awarded grants under this stream of the package, including Netball Victoria, AFL Victoria, Riding for the Disabled Association of Victoria, Football Victoria and Gippsland Regional Sports Academy. The grants will help major sport and active recreation organisations keep going in the wake of the necessary cancellation of training, development programs and competition. Funding will help organisations continue to operate safely, support member clubs and participants and assist with the development of Return to Play plans to reactivate their sports as coronavirus restrictions are gradually eased. More than three million Victorians are involved in community sport and recreation, with 12,000 clubs and associations across the state, but the sector has suffered significant revenue losses since the onset of the pandemic. The grants are a key element of the Government’s investment in supporting community sport and active recreation in these challenging times. More than 5,000 clubs have already received $1,000 grants as part of the package, along with 200 leagues and associations which have shared in almost $1.5 million in funding. The Victorian Government is also investing $68 million in shovel-ready community sport and active recreation infrastructure projects across the state, to stimulate jobs and economic activity and deliver fantastic new projects to local communities as part of the new $2.7 billion Building Works package. Quotes attributable to Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence “These grants will provide vital funds for the organisations that support grassroots clubs and associations across the state - the bodies that make it possible for millions of Victorians to play the sports they love.” “This much needed support will help keep the doors open of our state sporting associations and keep the many people they employ in work.”

Helping Sporting Clubs And Associations Through The Pandemic

The Victorian Government is supporting state sport associations, state sport and recreation bodies and regional academies get through the pandemic with support from the Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Survival Package. Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence announced more than $12.7 million in grants have been approved from the Government’s $40 million package for the sport and active recreation sector. Almost 70 organisations have been awarded grants under this stream of the package, including Netball Victoria, AFL Victoria, Riding for the Disabled Association of Victoria, Football Victoria and Gippsland Regional Sports Academy. The grants will help major sport and active recreation organisations keep going in the wake of the necessary cancellation of training, development programs and competition. Funding will help organisations continue to operate safely, support member clubs and participants and assist with the development of Return to Play plans to reactivate their sports as coronavirus restrictions are gradually eased. More than three million Victorians are involved in community sport and recreation, with 12,000 clubs and associations across the state, but the sector has suffered significant revenue losses since the onset of the pandemic. The grants are a key element of the Government’s investment in supporting community sport and active recreation in these challenging times. More than 5,000 clubs have already received $1,000 grants as part of the package, along with 200 leagues and associations which have shared in almost $1.5 million in funding. The Victorian Government is also investing $68 million in shovel-ready community sport and active recreation infrastructure projects across the state, to stimulate jobs and economic activity and deliver fantastic new projects to local communities as part of the new $2.7 billion Building Works package. Quotes attributable to Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence “These grants will provide vital funds for the organisations that support grassroots clubs and associations across the state - the bodies that make it possible for millions of Victorians to play the sports they love.” “This much needed support will help keep the doors open of our state sporting associations and keep the many people they employ in work.”

More Business Support Funds Flowing

Funds are flowing through to businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria as we continue to fight the coronavirus pandemic, with grants of $5,000 for 24,000 eligible businesses – totaling $120 million – out the door. The first batch of these additional payments to metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire went out yesterday, while applications for regional Victorian businesses opened on Friday. Eligible businesses from metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire that have received or applied for the initial grant will be eligible for an additional $5,000 that will be processed automatically, without previous applicants needing to apply again. This extension means eligible businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire may receive a total of $20,000 through the Business Support Fund, while regional businesses may receive $15,000. Already this year, $776 million has been paid out to 77,600 eligible businesses in the first round of the Business Support Fund as part of our $1.7 billion economic survival package. While Stage 4 restrictions are needed to bring down case numbers by limiting movement across the state, we recognise these are extremely difficult times for Victorian businesses. Nobody wants to see empty streets and shuttered shops – but the health advice tells us this is what it will take to get through to the other side of the pandemic. That’s why it’s pleasing to see the vast majority of people are doing the right thing. We can see from traffic data more Victorians are staying home, with Melbourne’s roads experiencing about 45 per cent of usual traffic. On Friday, there were just 43,000 tram trips and 71,000 metropolitan train trips, which is less than 10 per cent of Melbourne’s usual weekday figures. Our public transport network is running at about nine per cent of its usual levels. To protect workers and those who do still need to use the system, we’ve increased cleaning on all train, tram and bus services, as well as stations and stops. We’ve made sure services are still running for permitted workers and we’ll continue to monitor the data as more people are catching public transport. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We want businesses to survive this pandemic – we want people healthy and back at work. We want to begin the process of rebuilding our economy and our community and setting us up for the future.” “We can’t get to that point unless we all play a part in making this strategy work, but we will continue to support businesses to the other side.”

More Business Support Funds Flowing

Funds are flowing through to businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria as we continue to fight the coronavirus pandemic, with grants of $5,000 for 24,000 eligible businesses – totaling $120 million – out the door. The first batch of these additional payments to metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire went out yesterday, while applications for regional Victorian businesses opened on Friday. Eligible businesses from metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire that have received or applied for the initial grant will be eligible for an additional $5,000 that will be processed automatically, without previous applicants needing to apply again. This extension means eligible businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire may receive a total of $20,000 through the Business Support Fund, while regional businesses may receive $15,000. Already this year, $776 million has been paid out to 77,600 eligible businesses in the first round of the Business Support Fund as part of our $1.7 billion economic survival package. While Stage 4 restrictions are needed to bring down case numbers by limiting movement across the state, we recognise these are extremely difficult times for Victorian businesses. Nobody wants to see empty streets and shuttered shops – but the health advice tells us this is what it will take to get through to the other side of the pandemic. That’s why it’s pleasing to see the vast majority of people are doing the right thing. We can see from traffic data more Victorians are staying home, with Melbourne’s roads experiencing about 45 per cent of usual traffic. On Friday, there were just 43,000 tram trips and 71,000 metropolitan train trips, which is less than 10 per cent of Melbourne’s usual weekday figures. Our public transport network is running at about nine per cent of its usual levels. To protect workers and those who do still need to use the system, we’ve increased cleaning on all train, tram and bus services, as well as stations and stops. We’ve made sure services are still running for permitted workers and we’ll continue to monitor the data as more people are catching public transport. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We want businesses to survive this pandemic – we want people healthy and back at work. We want to begin the process of rebuilding our economy and our community and setting us up for the future.” “We can’t get to that point unless we all play a part in making this strategy work, but we will continue to support businesses to the other side.”

Fast-Tracked Mental Health Support For Victorians In Need

Victoria’s mental health system will receive nearly $60 million in an additional boost to get more Victorians support when they need it – now and after the pandemic is over and its effects are still being felt – as we continue to work together to fight this deadly virus. Building increased system capacity – whether that’s in our hospitals or out in the community – will be vital to the wellbeing of all Victorians as the challenges of the global pandemic hit hard for some, especially those people already living with mental ill health. The $59.7 million in new funding will strengthen the surge capacity of clinical and community mental health services across Victoria to cope with additional presentations and reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments – ensuring Victorians can get the care they need, even as demand for services spikes. This funding will also fast-track delivery of more new public acute mental health beds recommended by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s mental health system, boost community mental health services and accelerate the state-wide roll out of Hospital Outreach Post-Suicidal Engagement (HOPE) program. In the face of the current crisis, opening hours in mental health community clinics will be extended to enable face-to-face sessions and assessments to be conducted in accordance with physical distancing requirements – taking pressure off busy emergency departments, focusing on prevention and providing support to those who need it. More mental health staff will be embedded within Ambulance Victoria’s RefCom service to support paramedics and ensure the right advice and information is provided to frequent callers, including developing care plans as needed. Community mental health services and all 15 Melbourne based headspace centres will be provided funding to do more proactive outreach throughout the pandemic – reaching out to known mental health clients to check that they are ok and have the support they need. We’re also providing additional mental health and wellbeing support for our police and paramedics with Phoenix, the Centre of Excellence in Trauma, providing support to employment assistance programs. $250,000 will also be provided to the Nursing and Midwifery Health Program to ensure additional mental health counselling and support for nurses, midwives and personal care workers. The successful HOPE post-suicide prevention program will be rolled out to seven new sites at Box Hill, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Monash Clayton, Heidelberg and Broadmeadows, Warrnambool and Mildura – completing the state-wide roll-out. Additional clinical capacity will also be added to existing sites in Albury Wodonga and Ballarat. The interim report from the Royal Commission recommended an additional 135 beds, but further conversations with health services have identified additional capacity at some sites allowing the overall figure to increase 144 new beds – at Geelong, Epping, Sunshine and Melbourne. Planning for these new beds will now be fast-tracked to help cope with additional demand, and the beds will be available long after this pandemic is finished. This new funding builds on the almost $135 million the Victorian Government has already invested in mental health during the pandemic. There are plenty of ways to support other people or be supported if you are feeling anxious or uncertain. If you or someone you know needs help, you can call Lifeline Australia (13 11 14), Beyond Blue (1800 512 348), or Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800). Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We know Victorians are resilient, but we have never faced a crisis quite like this one and I know there are a lot of people out there doing it tough right now. We want them to know that they are not alone.” “We’ll stand by all Victorians as we get through this – by delivering more beds, more community services and more specialised help for those in need.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley “Coronavirus is hitting everyone hard – but some much harder than others. This package will provide further support for people from all walks of life experiencing anxiety and distress during this unprecedented period of uncertainty and isolation.” “We were already well on our way to implementing some of the key recommendations from our Royal Commission and this massive funding boost will fast-track this work to ensure we have the infrastructure and support systems in place as demand on our mental health system increases.

Fast-Tracked Mental Health Support For Victorians In Need

Victoria’s mental health system will receive nearly $60 million in an additional boost to get more Victorians support when they need it – now and after the pandemic is over and its effects are still being felt – as we continue to work together to fight this deadly virus. Building increased system capacity – whether that’s in our hospitals or out in the community – will be vital to the wellbeing of all Victorians as the challenges of the global pandemic hit hard for some, especially those people already living with mental ill health. The $59.7 million in new funding will strengthen the surge capacity of clinical and community mental health services across Victoria to cope with additional presentations and reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments – ensuring Victorians can get the care they need, even as demand for services spikes. This funding will also fast-track delivery of more new public acute mental health beds recommended by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s mental health system, boost community mental health services and accelerate the state-wide roll out of Hospital Outreach Post-Suicidal Engagement (HOPE) program. In the face of the current crisis, opening hours in mental health community clinics will be extended to enable face-to-face sessions and assessments to be conducted in accordance with physical distancing requirements – taking pressure off busy emergency departments, focusing on prevention and providing support to those who need it. More mental health staff will be embedded within Ambulance Victoria’s RefCom service to support paramedics and ensure the right advice and information is provided to frequent callers, including developing care plans as needed. Community mental health services and all 15 Melbourne based headspace centres will be provided funding to do more proactive outreach throughout the pandemic – reaching out to known mental health clients to check that they are ok and have the support they need. We’re also providing additional mental health and wellbeing support for our police and paramedics with Phoenix, the Centre of Excellence in Trauma, providing support to employment assistance programs. $250,000 will also be provided to the Nursing and Midwifery Health Program to ensure additional mental health counselling and support for nurses, midwives and personal care workers. The successful HOPE post-suicide prevention program will be rolled out to seven new sites at Box Hill, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Monash Clayton, Heidelberg and Broadmeadows, Warrnambool and Mildura – completing the state-wide roll-out. Additional clinical capacity will also be added to existing sites in Albury Wodonga and Ballarat. The interim report from the Royal Commission recommended an additional 135 beds, but further conversations with health services have identified additional capacity at some sites allowing the overall figure to increase 144 new beds – at Geelong, Epping, Sunshine and Melbourne. Planning for these new beds will now be fast-tracked to help cope with additional demand, and the beds will be available long after this pandemic is finished. This new funding builds on the almost $135 million the Victorian Government has already invested in mental health during the pandemic. There are plenty of ways to support other people or be supported if you are feeling anxious or uncertain. If you or someone you know needs help, you can call Lifeline Australia (13 11 14), Beyond Blue (1800 512 348), or Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800). Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We know Victorians are resilient, but we have never faced a crisis quite like this one and I know there are a lot of people out there doing it tough right now. We want them to know that they are not alone.” “We’ll stand by all Victorians as we get through this – by delivering more beds, more community services and more specialised help for those in need.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley “Coronavirus is hitting everyone hard – but some much harder than others. This package will provide further support for people from all walks of life experiencing anxiety and distress during this unprecedented period of uncertainty and isolation.” “We were already well on our way to implementing some of the key recommendations from our Royal Commission and this massive funding boost will fast-track this work to ensure we have the infrastructure and support systems in place as demand on our mental health system increases.

Supporting Students Through The Pandemic

For Victorian students in their final years of school, as well as their parents, carers, families and teachers – this has been a year like no other. That’s why the Victorian Government is announcing more support for VCE students and further mental health resources for young people struggling with this pandemic. Every Victorian student will be individually assessed, and any adverse impacts of coronavirus will be reflected in ATAR rankings as part of a wide-ranging process to ensure fair and accurate results in this unprecedented year of school – taking a huge mental load off students and their families as we head towards exams. The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) will introduce a wide-ranging “Consideration of Educational Disadvantage” process to calculate VCE scores, taking into account disruptions to learning caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This new process will mean the only thing impacted students need to focus on is their exams – and doing their best. In a normal year, individual students are assessed for special consideration on a case by case basis. This year, schools will provide the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) with information on every single one of their students. These reforms will reach every Year 12 VCE student in the state, ensuring the experiences of the class of 2020 are factored into their results. The VCAA will consider a range of data alongside exam results, including a student’s expected achievement levels before the impact of coronavirus, school assessments completed prior to remote and flexible learning, the General Achievement Test (GAT) and a range of statistical analyses to calculate final results. This may include assessing the individual impact of coronavirus on each student, including school closures, direct impacts on the health of a student, students dealing with substantial extra family responsibilities, ongoing issues with remote learning and mental health challenges. This will then be used to calculate a student’s final VCE results and ATAR rank, ensuring that our kids’ final results take into account not only their performance in an exam – but their courage and commitment in the face of huge adversity. This adds to the steps already taken by the VCAA, such as reducing course content for Unit 4, rescheduling the General Achievement Test (GAT) and extending Term 4 for VCE students with exams to be held later in the year. The ATARs received by Victorian students will be equivalent to those received by students in other states. To help students struggling with their mental health, the Government will also provide $28.5 million to ensure students can receive more support. More than 1,500 school staff will undergo additional mental health training in partnership with headspace, to help identify at-risk students as remote learning continues. All specialist schools with secondary aged students will also receive funding to recruit a school-based mental health practitioner, who will build provide wrap-around support to students and families. The Mental Health in Primary Schools pilot will continue and expand to include an additional 15 new schools. Participating schools employ a Mental Health and Wellbeing Coordinator with teaching qualifications, to build the capability of school staff to better identify and support students with mental health concerns. The successful Navigator program, which supports young people to re-engage with school will also be expanded to reach more students and ensure even during coronavirus, they remain connected to their education. The LOOKOUT program will also be expanded to tackle disengagement from education of highly vulnerable students in out-of-home care, and other young Victorians who are at risk. This is in addition to Victorian Government’s support for Orygen’s new digital mental health platform for young people – MOST – an online tool which allows young people to access tailored online therapy and peer support, when and where they need it. The Government has invested over $87 million into supporting the mental health of all Victorians to get through the pandemic – and continues to work with service providers to consider additional support as our state faces Stage 3 and 4 restrictions. Quotes attributable to the Premier Daniel Andrews “The bottom line is that every student has been impacted in some way by this pandemic – the challenge is to make sure that it doesn’t decide their future.” “My message to VCE students is clear: you concentrate on doing your best, and we’ll take care of everything else.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “I know the very real stress and anxiety that many students and their parents are feeling. Today’s announcement will mean one less thing to worry about.” “With this additional support, we’ll make sure every student at every age has the support to be their best.”

Supporting Students Through The Pandemic

For Victorian students in their final years of school, as well as their parents, carers, families and teachers – this has been a year like no other. That’s why the Victorian Government is announcing more support for VCE students and further mental health resources for young people struggling with this pandemic. Every Victorian student will be individually assessed, and any adverse impacts of coronavirus will be reflected in ATAR rankings as part of a wide-ranging process to ensure fair and accurate results in this unprecedented year of school – taking a huge mental load off students and their families as we head towards exams. The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) will introduce a wide-ranging “Consideration of Educational Disadvantage” process to calculate VCE scores, taking into account disruptions to learning caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This new process will mean the only thing impacted students need to focus on is their exams – and doing their best. In a normal year, individual students are assessed for special consideration on a case by case basis. This year, schools will provide the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) with information on every single one of their students. These reforms will reach every Year 12 VCE student in the state, ensuring the experiences of the class of 2020 are factored into their results. The VCAA will consider a range of data alongside exam results, including a student’s expected achievement levels before the impact of coronavirus, school assessments completed prior to remote and flexible learning, the General Achievement Test (GAT) and a range of statistical analyses to calculate final results. This may include assessing the individual impact of coronavirus on each student, including school closures, direct impacts on the health of a student, students dealing with substantial extra family responsibilities, ongoing issues with remote learning and mental health challenges. This will then be used to calculate a student’s final VCE results and ATAR rank, ensuring that our kids’ final results take into account not only their performance in an exam – but their courage and commitment in the face of huge adversity. This adds to the steps already taken by the VCAA, such as reducing course content for Unit 4, rescheduling the General Achievement Test (GAT) and extending Term 4 for VCE students with exams to be held later in the year. The ATARs received by Victorian students will be equivalent to those received by students in other states. To help students struggling with their mental health, the Government will also provide $28.5 million to ensure students can receive more support. More than 1,500 school staff will undergo additional mental health training in partnership with headspace, to help identify at-risk students as remote learning continues. All specialist schools with secondary aged students will also receive funding to recruit a school-based mental health practitioner, who will build provide wrap-around support to students and families. The Mental Health in Primary Schools pilot will continue and expand to include an additional 15 new schools. Participating schools employ a Mental Health and Wellbeing Coordinator with teaching qualifications, to build the capability of school staff to better identify and support students with mental health concerns. The successful Navigator program, which supports young people to re-engage with school will also be expanded to reach more students and ensure even during coronavirus, they remain connected to their education. The LOOKOUT program will also be expanded to tackle disengagement from education of highly vulnerable students in out-of-home care, and other young Victorians who are at risk. This is in addition to Victorian Government’s support for Orygen’s new digital mental health platform for young people – MOST – an online tool which allows young people to access tailored online therapy and peer support, when and where they need it. The Government has invested over $87 million into supporting the mental health of all Victorians to get through the pandemic – and continues to work with service providers to consider additional support as our state faces Stage 3 and 4 restrictions. Quotes attributable to the Premier Daniel Andrews “The bottom line is that every student has been impacted in some way by this pandemic – the challenge is to make sure that it doesn’t decide their future.” “My message to VCE students is clear: you concentrate on doing your best, and we’ll take care of everything else.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “I know the very real stress and anxiety that many students and their parents are feeling. Today’s announcement will mean one less thing to worry about.” “With this additional support, we’ll make sure every student at every age has the support to be their best.”

 

More Support For Young People In Brimbank

Pasifika young people and their families in the west will have access to more support following a funding boost from the Victorian Government. Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins announced $400,000 in funding for two programs aimed at providing early interventions and mentoring for Pasifika young people in Brimbank. Under the investment, $200,000 will go towards the Pasifika Thrive program, which will be delivered in collaboration with local schools to provide early intervention mentoring for young people. This program has been developed by Charis Mentoring, a Pasifika-led organisation with extensive cultural knowledge and strong relationships with young people in Brimbank. The Village Response Plan program, led by Charis Mentoring and community partners, will also receive $200,000 to provide support for Pasifika young people who have had contact with the justice system, and to help reduce reoffending. The initiatives will build on existing successful programs, including the Youth Umbrella Project in Brimbank, which aims to increase resilience and build on the strengths of young people from Pasifika and African backgrounds. Quotes attributable to Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins “This funding is an important part of our ongoing work to reduce the over-representation of Pasifika young people in our justice system.” “The Pasifika community in Brimbank is strong, resilient and vibrant. I congratulate community leaders on these fantastic grass-roots initiatives, which will ensure young people continue to be supported during the pandemic.” Quote attributable to Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Youth Ros Spence “Pasifika young people are deeply connected to their communities and this program provides a community-led and culturally focused approach to mentoring.” Quote attributable to Member for St Albans Natalie Suleyman “This funding will allow Charis Mentoring to continue to grow their vital community work, and ensure at-risk Pasifika young people across Brimbank are given the assistance and support they need” Quote attributable to Member for Kororoit Marlene Kairouz “We’re support community leadership, helping build safer and stronger communities for young Pasifika people in Brimbank.”

More Support For Young People In Brimbank

Pasifika young people and their families in the west will have access to more support following a funding boost from the Victorian Government. Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins announced $400,000 in funding for two programs aimed at providing early interventions and mentoring for Pasifika young people in Brimbank. Under the investment, $200,000 will go towards the Pasifika Thrive program, which will be delivered in collaboration with local schools to provide early intervention mentoring for young people. This program has been developed by Charis Mentoring, a Pasifika-led organisation with extensive cultural knowledge and strong relationships with young people in Brimbank. The Village Response Plan program, led by Charis Mentoring and community partners, will also receive $200,000 to provide support for Pasifika young people who have had contact with the justice system, and to help reduce reoffending. The initiatives will build on existing successful programs, including the Youth Umbrella Project in Brimbank, which aims to increase resilience and build on the strengths of young people from Pasifika and African backgrounds. Quotes attributable to Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins “This funding is an important part of our ongoing work to reduce the over-representation of Pasifika young people in our justice system.” “The Pasifika community in Brimbank is strong, resilient and vibrant. I congratulate community leaders on these fantastic grass-roots initiatives, which will ensure young people continue to be supported during the pandemic.” Quote attributable to Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Youth Ros Spence “Pasifika young people are deeply connected to their communities and this program provides a community-led and culturally focused approach to mentoring.” Quote attributable to Member for St Albans Natalie Suleyman “This funding will allow Charis Mentoring to continue to grow their vital community work, and ensure at-risk Pasifika young people across Brimbank are given the assistance and support they need” Quote attributable to Member for Kororoit Marlene Kairouz “We’re support community leadership, helping build safer and stronger communities for young Pasifika people in Brimbank.”

Statement From The Premier

03 August 2020 Yesterday, we asked Victorians to make some big sacrifices. Big, real and meaningful sacrifices. Today, sadly, we need to ask the same of Victorian businesses and Victorian workers. As Premier, I’ve spent every day fighting for workers and fighting for jobs. I understand deeply: a job means financial security – but it also means stability, purpose and the foundation to build your future. Truthfully, I never thought I’d find myself in a position where I’d have to ask people not to go to work. But if we're serious about driving this thing down – and we absolutely must be – we need to take unprecedented steps in limiting the movement of people, and therefore limiting the movement of this virus. Today I can announce three lists that will apply during Stage 4 restrictions. These changes, in addition to the previous restrictions including working from home requirements, will mean around 1 million Victorians are no longer moving around the state for work. First: supermarkets, grocery stores, bottle shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks, newsagencies, post offices – plus everyone involved in our frontline response – will continue to operate. Second: Industries where onsite operations will have to cease for the next six weeks including retail, some manufacturing and administration. These businesses will all need to close by 11:59pm Wednesday 5 August, unless they have specific circumstances that mean they need longer to shutdown safely. Retail stores will be permitted to operate contactless ‘click and collect’ and delivery services with strict safety protocols in place, and hardware stores can remain open onsite, but for tradespeople only. The third and final list is made up of industries that are permitted to operate – but under significantly different conditions. Whether it’s our food production, waste collection or supply chain logistics we need some things to continue – but they’ve got do so safely. All open businesses and services will have until 11:59pm Friday 7 August to enact a COVIDSafe plan focused on safety, prevention and response in the event that coronavirus is linked to the workplace – because beating this virus requires a rapid response wherever it rears its head. In industries that can’t close, but where we’ve seen a number of cases or emerging new risks, we’ll be making some big changes to make these workplaces safer – for workers and for their families. That includes mandated reductions to the number of workers onsite. In the meat industry – and based on the minimum required to operate safely onsite – the workforce will be scaled back to two-thirds. Unlike other changes, and recognising the risk these sites have posed here and around the world, this will apply to abattoirs in Melbourne and across the state. Warehousing and distribution centres in Melbourne will be limited to no more than two-thirds the normal workforce allowed onsite at any one time. Our construction sector, the lifeblood of our economy, will also move to pilot light levels. This will allow the industry to keep ticking – while also making sure we limit the number of people onsite. For major construction sites, that means the absolute minimum required for safety – but no more than 25 per cent of the normal workforce onsite. Small-scale construction will be limited to a maximum of five people onsite. To date, we’ve almost halved the number of people onsite on some of our biggest Government projects. Now we’re going to go through project by project, line by line to make sure they are reduced to the practical minimum number of workers. These workplaces that are continuing to operate will also have additional requirements including extra PPE, staggering shifts, staggering breaks, health declarations and more support for sick workers to ensure they stay home. To give one example, workers in abattoirs will be kitted out in full PPE – gowns, masks and shields – more akin to what a nurse would wear. They’ll also be subject to routine testing. These changes will be enforceable. And the onus will be on employers to make sure they’re doing the right thing by their workers, including ensuring those with symptoms – and potentially the virus – do not come to work. As always, this work will be done in consultation with industry and with unions. And for those businesses and industries that fall into grey areas when it comes to their operation, the dedicated Industry Coordination Centre within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will consider their case. I understand this will have real and heavy consequences for a number of businesses, workers and their families. We’ll do everything we can to lighten that load. For those businesses that suffer significant losses or need to close as a result of the current restrictions, we will provide support through our expanded Business Support Fund. Businesses in regional Victoria can apply for a $5,000 grant while those in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire can apply for up to $10,000 in recognition of spending longer under restrictions. Honestly, this will be an imperfect process. The decision of which column to put millions of Victorian jobs – millions of Victorian workers – could never be clear cut. And, as much as we'd like one, there is no playbook when it comes to a pandemic. But what is clear is that if we don’t do this now, if this doesn’t work, then we’ll need a much longer list of complete shutdowns. It’s hard to imagine what a Stage 5 might look like. But it would radically change the way people live. Not just rules on when and where you can go shopping – but restrictions on going shopping at all. This will be hard. It’ll be frustrating. It’ll be confusing. For a lot of workers and their families, it’ll be heartbreaking. But the only way to get people back to work and businesses back open is by making these tough decisions – and by Victorians abiding by them. We have to make this work. Lives and livelihoods are counting on it.

Statement From The Premier

03 August 2020 Yesterday, we asked Victorians to make some big sacrifices. Big, real and meaningful sacrifices. Today, sadly, we need to ask the same of Victorian businesses and Victorian workers. As Premier, I’ve spent every day fighting for workers and fighting for jobs. I understand deeply: a job means financial security – but it also means stability, purpose and the foundation to build your future. Truthfully, I never thought I’d find myself in a position where I’d have to ask people not to go to work. But if we're serious about driving this thing down – and we absolutely must be – we need to take unprecedented steps in limiting the movement of people, and therefore limiting the movement of this virus. Today I can announce three lists that will apply during Stage 4 restrictions. These changes, in addition to the previous restrictions including working from home requirements, will mean around 1 million Victorians are no longer moving around the state for work. First: supermarkets, grocery stores, bottle shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks, newsagencies, post offices – plus everyone involved in our frontline response – will continue to operate. Second: Industries where onsite operations will have to cease for the next six weeks including retail, some manufacturing and administration. These businesses will all need to close by 11:59pm Wednesday 5 August, unless they have specific circumstances that mean they need longer to shutdown safely. Retail stores will be permitted to operate contactless ‘click and collect’ and delivery services with strict safety protocols in place, and hardware stores can remain open onsite, but for tradespeople only. The third and final list is made up of industries that are permitted to operate – but under significantly different conditions. Whether it’s our food production, waste collection or supply chain logistics we need some things to continue – but they’ve got do so safely. All open businesses and services will have until 11:59pm Friday 7 August to enact a COVIDSafe plan focused on safety, prevention and response in the event that coronavirus is linked to the workplace – because beating this virus requires a rapid response wherever it rears its head. In industries that can’t close, but where we’ve seen a number of cases or emerging new risks, we’ll be making some big changes to make these workplaces safer – for workers and for their families. That includes mandated reductions to the number of workers onsite. In the meat industry – and based on the minimum required to operate safely onsite – the workforce will be scaled back to two-thirds. Unlike other changes, and recognising the risk these sites have posed here and around the world, this will apply to abattoirs in Melbourne and across the state. Warehousing and distribution centres in Melbourne will be limited to no more than two-thirds the normal workforce allowed onsite at any one time. Our construction sector, the lifeblood of our economy, will also move to pilot light levels. This will allow the industry to keep ticking – while also making sure we limit the number of people onsite. For major construction sites, that means the absolute minimum required for safety – but no more than 25 per cent of the normal workforce onsite. Small-scale construction will be limited to a maximum of five people onsite. To date, we’ve almost halved the number of people onsite on some of our biggest Government projects. Now we’re going to go through project by project, line by line to make sure they are reduced to the practical minimum number of workers. These workplaces that are continuing to operate will also have additional requirements including extra PPE, staggering shifts, staggering breaks, health declarations and more support for sick workers to ensure they stay home. To give one example, workers in abattoirs will be kitted out in full PPE – gowns, masks and shields – more akin to what a nurse would wear. They’ll also be subject to routine testing. These changes will be enforceable. And the onus will be on employers to make sure they’re doing the right thing by their workers, including ensuring those with symptoms – and potentially the virus – do not come to work. As always, this work will be done in consultation with industry and with unions. And for those businesses and industries that fall into grey areas when it comes to their operation, the dedicated Industry Coordination Centre within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will consider their case. I understand this will have real and heavy consequences for a number of businesses, workers and their families. We’ll do everything we can to lighten that load. For those businesses that suffer significant losses or need to close as a result of the current restrictions, we will provide support through our expanded Business Support Fund. Businesses in regional Victoria can apply for a $5,000 grant while those in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire can apply for up to $10,000 in recognition of spending longer under restrictions. Honestly, this will be an imperfect process. The decision of which column to put millions of Victorian jobs – millions of Victorian workers – could never be clear cut. And, as much as we'd like one, there is no playbook when it comes to a pandemic. But what is clear is that if we don’t do this now, if this doesn’t work, then we’ll need a much longer list of complete shutdowns. It’s hard to imagine what a Stage 5 might look like. But it would radically change the way people live. Not just rules on when and where you can go shopping – but restrictions on going shopping at all. This will be hard. It’ll be frustrating. It’ll be confusing. For a lot of workers and their families, it’ll be heartbreaking. But the only way to get people back to work and businesses back open is by making these tough decisions – and by Victorians abiding by them. We have to make this work. Lives and livelihoods are counting on it.

Research Boost To Better Understand And Treat Coronavirus

The Victorian Government is backing cutting-edge medical research projects to better understand, prevent and treat coronavirus. Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford announced the seven beneficiaries of the Government’s $5.5 million COVID-19 Research Fund, which will support continued jobs growth in a sector that already employs tens of thousands of Victorians. The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute will use human-derived stem cells to better understand the virus’s effects on different organ systems in the body, including the lung, heart, kidneys, brain, immune system and blood vessels, to support the development of targeted treatments. The multi-agency study – which includes partners from the Doherty Institute, Monash University, and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute – has benefitted from Australia-first custom-built stem cell processing equipment with sections sourced from Japan and Switzerland. Among other grant recipients, the Burnet Institute and University of Melbourne will conduct separate studies focusing on improving our understanding of COVID-19 immunity,whileBarwon Health will conduct a study in regional Victoria to determine the long-term biological, physiological and psychological impacts of coronavirus. Alfred Health, Eastern Health and Bendigo Health will undertake projects examining the impacts of coronavirus on the workforce, with a focus on healthcare and other frontline workers. Separately, the Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund will provide $3 million to fund 12 projects across a range of research fields, including a team at RMIT that is exploring a new way to manage viral infections, which could allow for the repurposing of existing drugs to fight coronavirus. Victoria is home to 12 independent medical research institutes that employ more than 4,800 people. The state’s wider medical research sector supports more than 30,000 jobs across institutes, universities and industry. The COVID-19 Research Fund was created in May as part of $8.5 million committed to the work of Victoria’s world-leading research institutes to better understand transmission, immunity and the long-term health impacts of coronavirus. An initial $3 million was allocated to accelerate existing projects relating to COVID-19. Quotes attributable to Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford “We’re backing our world-leading researchers to better understand, prevent and treat coronavirus.” “Victoria is a standard bearer in medical research – and we’re putting this expertise to work in the global fight against this deadly virus.” Quote attributable to Theme Director of Cell Biology at MCRI, Professor Melissa Little “It is becoming clear this virus can cause longer-term damage to the body’s vital organs. Our new research program will generate a wide variety of stem cell derived human tissues to improve our understanding of disease pathology, change clinical care and hasten the rollout of targeted treatment options.”

Research Boost To Better Understand And Treat Coronavirus

The Victorian Government is backing cutting-edge medical research projects to better understand, prevent and treat coronavirus. Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford announced the seven beneficiaries of the Government’s $5.5 million COVID-19 Research Fund, which will support continued jobs growth in a sector that already employs tens of thousands of Victorians. The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute will use human-derived stem cells to better understand the virus’s effects on different organ systems in the body, including the lung, heart, kidneys, brain, immune system and blood vessels, to support the development of targeted treatments. The multi-agency study – which includes partners from the Doherty Institute, Monash University, and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute – has benefitted from Australia-first custom-built stem cell processing equipment with sections sourced from Japan and Switzerland. Among other grant recipients, the Burnet Institute and University of Melbourne will conduct separate studies focusing on improving our understanding of COVID-19 immunity,whileBarwon Health will conduct a study in regional Victoria to determine the long-term biological, physiological and psychological impacts of coronavirus. Alfred Health, Eastern Health and Bendigo Health will undertake projects examining the impacts of coronavirus on the workforce, with a focus on healthcare and other frontline workers. Separately, the Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund will provide $3 million to fund 12 projects across a range of research fields, including a team at RMIT that is exploring a new way to manage viral infections, which could allow for the repurposing of existing drugs to fight coronavirus. Victoria is home to 12 independent medical research institutes that employ more than 4,800 people. The state’s wider medical research sector supports more than 30,000 jobs across institutes, universities and industry. The COVID-19 Research Fund was created in May as part of $8.5 million committed to the work of Victoria’s world-leading research institutes to better understand transmission, immunity and the long-term health impacts of coronavirus. An initial $3 million was allocated to accelerate existing projects relating to COVID-19. Quotes attributable to Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford “We’re backing our world-leading researchers to better understand, prevent and treat coronavirus.” “Victoria is a standard bearer in medical research – and we’re putting this expertise to work in the global fight against this deadly virus.” Quote attributable to Theme Director of Cell Biology at MCRI, Professor Melissa Little “It is becoming clear this virus can cause longer-term damage to the body’s vital organs. Our new research program will generate a wide variety of stem cell derived human tissues to improve our understanding of disease pathology, change clinical care and hasten the rollout of targeted treatment options.”

New Milestone For Treaty Negotiations

The Victorian Government and the First Peoples’ Assembly will today hold their first official negotiating meeting, marking a historic moment on Victoria’s path to Treaty. In keeping with Stay at Home restrictions, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams will meet virtually with Assembly Co-Chairs Geraldine Atkinson and Marcus Stewart to formally commence Treaty negotiations. Following a Welcome to Country by Gunaikurnai man, Uncle Nicky Moffatt, the parties will set the forward agenda, discuss negotiation protocols and processes, and a timeline for future meetings. The Assembly is the first democratically elected body of Aboriginal Victorians in the state’s history and is made up of 21 members elected by Aboriginal Victorians across five voting regions and 11 members appointed by each formally recognised Traditional Owner groups. It is tasked with negotiating the framework that will ultimately lead to Treaty. In partnership with the Government, it will also help establish a Treaty Authority to act as an independent umpire throughout the negotiation process and a self-determination fund. Treaty is an opportunity for Victoria to recognise and celebrate the unique status, rights, cultures and histories of Aboriginal Victorians. It is also an opportunity to heal past wounds, achieve genuine reconciliation and build a stronger state for all Victorians. While the content of a Treaty or treaties is not yet known, it will reflect a shared aspiration to tangibly improve the lives of Aboriginal Victorians and future generations. Work on Treaty builds on Victoria’s nation-leading efforts to support Aboriginal communities, having last month announced Australia’s first truth telling process to formally recognise historic wrongs and address ongoing injustices for Aboriginal Victorians. Victoria is now the first and only jurisdiction to have actioned both the Treaty and Truth elements of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams “This is an important milestone for our state and represents the next step forward on this historic path to Treaty – a Treaty that will not only benefit Aboriginal Victorians, but all Victorians.” “We’re determined to find a new way forward with our First Peoples, forging a new, shared future for us all.” Quote attributable to First Peoples’ Assembly Co-Chair Geraldine Atkinson “We hope that this day will be looked back on as the starting point in our history when Aboriginal Victorians and the State Government began to work towards greater reconciliation and a stronger future.” Quote attributable to First Peoples’ Assembly Co-Chair Marcus Stewart “This meeting is the first step towards a productive negotiation between the First Peoples’ Assembly and the Victorian Government.”

New Milestone For Treaty Negotiations

The Victorian Government and the First Peoples’ Assembly will today hold their first official negotiating meeting, marking a historic moment on Victoria’s path to Treaty. In keeping with Stay at Home restrictions, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams will meet virtually with Assembly Co-Chairs Geraldine Atkinson and Marcus Stewart to formally commence Treaty negotiations. Following a Welcome to Country by Gunaikurnai man, Uncle Nicky Moffatt, the parties will set the forward agenda, discuss negotiation protocols and processes, and a timeline for future meetings. The Assembly is the first democratically elected body of Aboriginal Victorians in the state’s history and is made up of 21 members elected by Aboriginal Victorians across five voting regions and 11 members appointed by each formally recognised Traditional Owner groups. It is tasked with negotiating the framework that will ultimately lead to Treaty. In partnership with the Government, it will also help establish a Treaty Authority to act as an independent umpire throughout the negotiation process and a self-determination fund. Treaty is an opportunity for Victoria to recognise and celebrate the unique status, rights, cultures and histories of Aboriginal Victorians. It is also an opportunity to heal past wounds, achieve genuine reconciliation and build a stronger state for all Victorians. While the content of a Treaty or treaties is not yet known, it will reflect a shared aspiration to tangibly improve the lives of Aboriginal Victorians and future generations. Work on Treaty builds on Victoria’s nation-leading efforts to support Aboriginal communities, having last month announced Australia’s first truth telling process to formally recognise historic wrongs and address ongoing injustices for Aboriginal Victorians. Victoria is now the first and only jurisdiction to have actioned both the Treaty and Truth elements of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams “This is an important milestone for our state and represents the next step forward on this historic path to Treaty – a Treaty that will not only benefit Aboriginal Victorians, but all Victorians.” “We’re determined to find a new way forward with our First Peoples, forging a new, shared future for us all.” Quote attributable to First Peoples’ Assembly Co-Chair Geraldine Atkinson “We hope that this day will be looked back on as the starting point in our history when Aboriginal Victorians and the State Government began to work towards greater reconciliation and a stronger future.” Quote attributable to First Peoples’ Assembly Co-Chair Marcus Stewart “This meeting is the first step towards a productive negotiation between the First Peoples’ Assembly and the Victorian Government.”