Chief Minister Andrew Barr is pushing the Commonwealth to extend income support payments to the 10,500 people currently subject to stay-at-home orders in the ACT.
Under a deal struck by National Cabinet at the start of the month, Australians in a location that is declared a hotspot and enters a lockdown for more than seven days would have access to income support payments.
Disaster payments of $500 a week would be available for people who work more than 20 hours a week, and $325 if they work less than 20 hours a week, while states and territories will be in charge of small business support.
Mr Barr said it was not a fair decision to exclude people quarantining in the ACT.
“At the moment, the Commonwealth guidelines, and indeed as I understand it, those NSW residents who might be in isolation in the ACT, are not eligible,” he said.
“The outbreak and the hotspot have been declared in Sydney. Where you are forced to stay at home and undertake your isolation should not be the factor – it should be that you were in an area that has been declared a hotspot.
“We will prosecute that with the Commonwealth.”
National Cabinet is due to meet this afternoon (28 June).
People in the ACT who visited the Greater Sydney region – which includes the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong areas – on or after 21 June are subject to stay-at-home orders.
They must self-isolate until midnight 9 July but can leave quarantine earlier if 14 days pass since they had visited the region.
Those subject to stay at home orders can only leave home for essential purposes, including to buy supplies, daily exercise, medical care and compassionate needs, and essential work that cannot occur at home.
The declaration brought the ACT into line with NSW’s two-week lockdown, which was imposed due to the rapid spread of the Bondi cluster.
The cluster has now grown to 124 as of Monday, 28 June.
*Correction: This article was originally headlined ‘Barr to fight for income support for NSW residents locked down in the ACT’. It was corrected for clarity.