COVID-19 is having unprecedented effects on communities in Australia and around the world. The Australian Government is working to support the community in this time of crisis. The communications sector is implementing an immediate response to help Australians stay connected.

What is the government doing?

The Australian Government is delivering substantial economic support for households and businesses. Information about these measures can be found on the Treasury website. A COVID-19 Business Liaison Unit has also been established to assist businesses affected by the situation. The Unit can be contacted by email and by phone on 02 6263 3030 (Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.30pm AEST).

On 15 April 2020, the Government announced a package of measures to help sustain Australian media businesses in continuing their vital work of keeping the community informed as they face significant economic challenges due to the impacts of COVID-19. The measures include tax relief for commercial television and radio, a $50 million investment in regional journalism, suspension of some content quotas on free-to-air and subscription television and release of an options paper on how to best support Australia's screen sector.

On 17 April 2020, the Government and telecommunications providers announced a set of principles to help Australians remain connected during the COVID-19 pandemic, even if they are facing financial hardship. The principles have been reviewed periodically. The most recent update was released in June 2021—read the June 2021 statement—Telecommunications hardship principles for COVID-19. The next review point is 30  September 2021.

To slow the spread of COVID-19, the National Cabinet has agreed to social distancing and limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings to protect the lives of all Australians, and particularly the vulnerable members of our communities. The latest information is available on the Department of Health's website.

telecommunications antenna and mobile device
Telecommunications sector

Access to communications services is vital for all Australians, particularly during the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.

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Media sector

The Government recognises the important role media organisations play in providing the Australian community with timely and accurate news and information, particularly during times of national and global significance, such as COVID-19.

Postal sector

We are working closely with Australia Post to support them in continuing to deliver postal services to all Australians.

Further support and advice

Visit the Australian Government's website for all the latest safety updates, health advice (including mental health and disability support), and information on income support and travel advice.

You can also receive Australian Government COVID-19 updates through What's App.

Support for the Arts

Commonwealth and state and territory creative and cultural Ministers met by teleconference on Thursday 19 March 2020 to discuss the unprecedented and evolving COVID-19 situation and its effect on the sector.

Support for Australian businesses

The Australian Business Continuity website, launched by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and its technology partners, provides practical tools to support small-to-medium businesses, including advice on how to use teleworking services.

The Government's website also has a range of information and support for small to medium enterprises.

Personal support

  • If you are in an emergency medical situation, please call 000.
  • If you are experiencing a personal crisis, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • Young people aged 5 to 25 can contact the Kids Helpline 24/7 on 1800 55 1800
  • Support for artists is available through Support Act on 1300 731 303, or through its wellbeing helpline on 1800 959 500.