Question - Emergency Grants & Funding
Tuesday 8 November 2022, Question without notice
Ms ARMITAGE question to DEPUTY LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Ms PALMER
Regarding applications for grants and emergency assistance such as with the recent floods in state's north and north-west:
(1) How should applicants who are not computer literate complete applications for financial assistance;
(2) acknowledging paper forms take time to roll out, will there be future options for people who do not possess or have access to technology or who lack requisite computer literacy to complete forms for financial assistance, without the need for an email address or internet access?
Mr President, I thank the member for her question.
(1) People who need to apply for emergency assistance for floods and who cannot complete an online application or do not use email can phone the Tasmanian emergency information service on (03) 6145 5303 and the call operators will complete and lodge these applications on their behalf. Similarly, people who need to apply for business or primary producer grants can call Business Tasmania on 1800 440 026 or FarmPoint Tasmania on 1300 292 292 for assistance.
Furthermore, Libraries Tasmania is actively helping people who have limited computer literacy or are not digitally connected to apply for emergency assistance grants. People needing support can drop into libraries in Latrobe, Devonport and Sheffield libraries anytime, and elsewhere as needed, or book a one-on-one appointment to receive digital help with their online application. Libraries Tasmania has worked with the Latrobe and Kentish councils to ensure Libraries Tasmania staff and volunteers are familiar with the flood relief application process and well equipped to provide digital help. This support is consistent with Libraries Tasmania's role in supporting digital inclusion for all Tasmanians across the state.
(2) We are well equipped to provide this support now and into the future. The option to phone the Tasmanian emergency information service will be available any time emergency assistance grants are being provided, to ensure people are able to phone the service for one-on-one support with applications and to seek information about other support measures available. As mentioned, our Libraries Tasmania staff are also available to provide this support at any time. In most cases, following a significant event like this, there is also support available on the ground in the form of local or state government staff at evacuation or recovery centres, to assist people to work through applications for assistance.