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‘Pushed to the limit’: Calls for nationally consistent testing payment

·2-min read
As Omicron rips through Australia, there are calls for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to introduce a nationally consistent isolation payment. (Sources: Getty)
As Omicron rips through Australia, there are calls for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to introduce a nationally consistent isolation payment. (Sources: Getty)

The latest wave of COVID-19 continues to gather pace, with tens of thousands of Australians now in isolation as the wait for results balloons out to eight days for some.

While most workers can access a payment while they wait for results, the rate of payment differs by state and territory, and hasn’t changed with the blow-out in wait times for results.  

Payments range from $250 in Tasmania to $450 in Victoria, with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) calling on the Federal Government to create a uniform payment as new COVID-19 cases reached 36,700 on Monday

“Australians have suffered two years of economic hell during this pandemic. Workers have burnt through their sick pay and holiday pay, exhausted their savings and even been forced to raid their super just to stay afloat,” ACTU assistant secretary Liam O’Brien told Yahoo Finance.

“Working people have been pushed to the limit. They have nothing left to give. 

“Scott Morrison needs to step up and deliver isolation pay for workers who need to get tested and isolate after a possible COVID exposure, backed up by a nationally consistent federal payment that ensures workers don’t lose a single dollar for the time they’re unable to work.”

He said the current “confusing and inconsistent” structure was inadequate. 

These are the current schemes on offer: 

Testing payments
Testing payments

How do you apply?

Victoria: Apply online here. If you need help, call 1800 675 398, hit option 4, then 4 again.

New South Wales: Apply online here

Western Australia: The scheme will open once borders open on 5 February, 2022. 

South Australia: Apply online here. And if you need help, call 8226 2500.

ACT: You can apply for the ACT isolation payment online here. If you have questions, email the ACT Government’s Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate at TreasuryEnquiries@act.gov.au.

Tasmania: Tasmanians can apply by calling the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

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