The NT Government has created a $5 million Worker & Wellbeing Fund to support local workers struggling with the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
The fund will focus on Territorians who are experiencing unemployment, reduced income or who are affected within their workplace because of the COVID-19 crisis.
The Worker & Wellbeing Fund will help make sure Territorians doing it tough get access to the services they need, such as financial counselling, relationship counselling or general wellbeing support.
Additionally, the Fund will assist Territorians navigate the Centrelink system or look for a new job.
This can be a difficult and daunting experience, particularly right now. For many, it may be the first time they have needed to access these services.
An advisory group chaired by Wendy Morton, former executive director of NTCOSS, with representation from business, community and unions has been established.
This group will be tasked with providing advice on how to target the right resources to the right people, as well as identifying where there are gaps in the availability of services.
The Worker & Wellbeing Fund's main goals are to:
- Help people access the range of wellbeing and other counselling or support services that are available
- Help people navigate the welfare system and access income and any other financial support available
- Help workers who have lost their job find new employment opportunities fast -such as guiding people to job matching services like the Territory Jobs Hub
- Assisting Territorians who require access to accommodation and other essentials
This funding is to meet new and emerging gaps and will be available for people who were not already receiving Centrelink benefits such as Newstart or Youth Allowance prior to the COVID-19 economic downturn. It will also be complementary to any initiatives announced by the Australian Government.
Details about the operation of the fund will be made available on April 3.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said: "This is a once-in-a-century crisis that's hurting a lot of Territorians in different ways.
"I want to do everything possible to assist Territorians - whether it's supporting small businesses, helping people look for new jobs, or providing easy access to support services for people who are being put through the ringer.
"We like to say we're 'Territory Tough' up here. But there's nothing wrong with getting help when you need it. A lot of people are in the same boat and the Worker & Wellbeing Fund will assist people to access the support they need."
Our COVID-19 news articles relating to public health and safety are free for anyone to access. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribehere. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.