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COVID-19 resources and updates: a quick guide

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COVID-19 resources and updates: a quick guide Kelsey Campbell and Dr Emma Vines Social Policy

As the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded, resources have been produced by parliamentary libraries, the Australian, state and territory governments, as well as non-government organisations tracking government decisions and restrictions. In addition, the Australian, state and territory governments continue to publish updates and media releases on their websites relating to COVID-19. This quick guide brings together many of these resources; however, the changing nature of the pandemic means these continue to be supplemented and revised. The hyperlinks in this quick guide were correct as at October 2021.

Parliamentary Library publications The Parliamentary Library has produced a number of publications on topics relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic. These can be found at the COVID-19 publications and resources page, which continues to be updated.

This includes publications on the legislative basis for government actions (for example, human biosecurity declarations); government announcements; explanations of various forms of government support; the impact of the pandemic on the labour market, and particular population groups such as people with disabilities, the aged, Indigenous Australians and international students; and the impact internationally.

State Parliamentary Library publications The following resources have been produced by the New South Wales and Victorian parliamentary libraries. This list should not be considered exhaustive as new publications continue to be released, including papers on measures related to the pandemic, such as JobSeeker.

New South Wales • NSW and Commonwealth Government funding responses to the COVID-19 pandemic: overview

of NSW funding measures, as well as major Australian Government funding announcements made between 17 March 2020-21 August 2020.

• NSW public health restrictions to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic: a chronology: chronology

and overview of NSW public health restrictions between 16 March 2020-23 October 2020.

• The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on parliament: information on how COVID-19 has

impacted Australian parliaments’ abilities to ‘fulfil their functions of making laws, controlling

COVID-19 resources and updates: a quick guide 2

state finances, oversighting the executive arm of government, and providing a forum for debate of matters of importance’.

Victoria • Chronology of Victorian border closures due to COVID-19: chronology of Victorian border

closures between 18 March 2020-23 June 2021.

• Emergency powers, public health and COVID-19: information on the use of public health

emergency powers, including chronologies of Australian Government, National Cabinet and Australian Government Minister for Health decisions. It also includes a comparison of emergency legislation, border control and penalties across the states and territories and a detailed chronology of directions made by the Victorian Government up until 5 August 2020.

• Primary and secondary school closures in Victoria due to COVID-19: chronology of primary and

secondary school closures in Victoria between 28 January 2020-11 June 2021.

Australian Government resources • Prime Minister’s statements on COVID-19: media releases and interview transcripts related to


• Prime Minister’s statements on National Cabinet: announcements and interviews related to

National Cabinet.

• Minister for Health’s statements on COVID-19: media releases and interview transcripts related

to COVID-19.

• Treasurer’s statements on COVID-19: media releases and interview transcripts related to


• Department of Health coronavirus (COVID-19) response news and media: includes

departmental media releases, statements from various departmental officials and changes to Australian Government Hotspot declarations.

• Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC): statements related to COVID-19

from the key decision-making committee for health emergencies comprised of all state and territory Chief Health Officers and chaired by the Australian Chief Medical Officer.

• Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI): COVID-19 vaccination

statements and weekly COVID-19 meeting updates.

• COVID-19 restriction tracker: implementation progress towards COVID normal: published by

the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, this includes state and territory vaccination rates, current restrictions and next steps towards reopening.

• Household impacts of COVID-19 survey: published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, these

surveys provide information on the impacts of COVID-19 on households in Australia, including emotional and mental wellbeing, training and development of skills and job status. The last survey was released in June 2021.

State and territory government resources The resources below focus on providing links to announcements from state and territory leaders, health ministers and health departments related to COVID-19. This is not exhaustive; as additional portfolios may make COVID-19 related announcements, for example, Treasury or small business on economic supports, education ministers on school-related announcements.

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Australian Capital Territory • Australian Capital Territory Government COVID-19 website: includes statistics and information

on exposure sites, quarantine and testing requirements, vaccination advice and COVID-19 updates.

• Chief Minister’s media releases: media releases from Chief Minister. Not all statements relate

to COVID-19.

New South Wales • New South Wales Government COVID-19 website: includes vaccination numbers, latest news,

COVID-19 statistics and links to information about rules and restrictions, vaccination bookings and testing.

• Minister for Health’s media releases: media releases from the Minister for Health by year. Not

all statements relate to COVID-19.

• New South Wales Health media releases: list of media releases by year from NSW Health.

Includes daily media releases on COVID-19 statistics, stay-at-home order announcements, public health alerts and other COVID-19 related announcements.

• Premier and Deputy Premier’s media releases: media releases from the Premier and Deputy

Premier, Minister of State, Minister for Digital and Customer Service, and Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation. Search ‘COVID’ to locate relevant announcements.

Northern Territory • Northern Territory Government COVID-19 website: website dedicated to information

concerning COVID-19, including updates, hotspots and restrictions, as well as vaccination bookings.

• Chief Health Officer Directions: current and past restrictions since 18 March 2020.

• Government newsroom: media releases, which can be filtered by minister and year. Not all

statements relate to COVID-19.

Queensland • Queensland Government COVID-19 website: includes up-to-date statistics, updates and

announcements, links to book vaccination, and information about testing, quarantine, borders and restrictions.

• Department of Health media releases: up-to-date media releases, including COVID-19 updates.

• Government media releases: includes media releases across portfolios. Search for ‘COVID’ to

locate relevant announcements.

South Australia • South Australian Government COVID-19 website: latest updates on COVID-19, links to

resources, including exposure sites, health alerts, current restrictions, daily statistics, public health alerts and updates, as well as media releases.

• COVID-19 Round Up Reports: up-to-date information and guidelines related to COVID-19.

• Government media releases: includes media releases across portfolios. Search for ‘COVID’ to

locate relevant announcements.

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Tasmania • Tasmanian Government COVID-19 website: includes updates and latest information as well as

links to various resources such as vaccination bookings, testing, travel advice, current restrictions, statistics and media releases related to COVID-19.

• Premier’s COVID-19 daily updates: transcripts of press conferences related to COVID-19.

Victoria • Victorian Government COVID-19 website: includes latest updates and statistics as well as

information about restrictions, vaccination, exposure sites, testing, education and travel.

• Department of Health and Human Services media hub—coronavirus (COVID-19): daily media

releases showing cases, vaccine information and testing results.

• Premier’s media releases: search ‘COVID’ to locate relevant announcements.

Western Australia • Western Australia Government COVID-19 website: includes information on latest updates, the

COVID-19 vaccine, restrictions and the Western Australian Government Pandemic Plan.

• COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) Bulletins 2021: updates from

the PHEOC on COVID-19 case numbers and restrictions, starting in April 2020.

• Department of Health media releases: daily COVID-19 updates with information on case

numbers and border controls. Media releases are organised by year and month. Search for ‘COVID’ to locate relevant announcements.

• Health Portfolio media releases: media statements for the Western Australian Health Portfolio.

Search for ‘COVID’ and select ‘Health’ as the portfolio to locate relevant announcements.

• Premier’s media releases: media statements from the Western Australian Premier. Search for

‘COVID’ and select ‘McGowan’ to locate relevant announcements.

Non-government resources • COVID-19: Government assistance programs: published by KPMG, this resource is current as at

20 October 2021 and lists grants from the Australian and state and territory governments to support private, mid-market and family businesses affected by COVID-19.

• COVID Local: tracks past and current COVID-19 policies internationally, including Australia at

the country-wide and state and territory levels. Includes policies on distancing, travel restrictions, relief measures, emergency declarations, contract tracing and testing and support for public health. Australian data can be accessed through the ‘search for location’ option.

• Grattan Coronavirus Announcements Tracker: Commonwealth and state and territory

announcements containing new and total case counters and announcements on borders, health, welfare, spatial distancing, businesses, schools and Indigenous Australians. The tracker was last updated on 4 December 2020.

• International Monetary Fund—Policy Responses to COVID-19: policy tracker for 197 countries

(including Australia) which summarises the key economic responses of government to limit the human and economic impact of COVID-19. The tracker was last updated on 2 July 2021.

• University of Oxford—COVID-19 Government Response Tracker: directory of policy trackers and

surveys related to COVID-19, both of which are searchable by policy area, country and date.

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