Women’s Legal Service Tasmania – WLST are limiting face-to-face service delivery and are now only booking telephone appointments (except under exceptional circumstances, where a face-to-face appointment must be approved by the Principal Solicitor). They are also available to clients via email if unsafe for them to speak with us on the phone. If clients are at immediate risk, the police should be called. WLST have also stopped their Community Legal Education and Outreach and Clinic activities until the end of May 2020. Attendance at court hearings, appearances and conciliations will go ahead as scheduled by the courts. Phone – 1800 682 468, Email – admin@womenslegaltas.org.au, Website – click here.

Landcare – there is more time to apply for the second round of the Landcare Action Grants Program with the deadline for applications extended until Thursday 30 April 2020. This will allow as many people as possible to apply for these grants, which play an important role in supporting enhanced land management practices. The deadline extension will also apply to people who have already submitted a round 2 Landcare Action Grants Program application and may wish to review or revise their application. People who have already submitted applications are NOT required to resubmit them, however, if they would like to review or revise their application, they can contact the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association to discuss by email to landcare@tfga.com.au or phone 03 6332 1800.
The Landcare Action Grants Program aims to improve landscape and riverine health, stability and resilience, and to improve land management practices to reduce erosion and sedimentation. Information about the program including eligibility criteria and application and assessment processes.

Flu shots – the federal government is encouraging people to get a flu shot early in the season. It appears however that there is currently some issue with availability in Tasmania. Health Minister Sarah Courtney has said that elderly and vulnerable Tasmanians will be prioritised and can begin to book appointments to receive the vaccine. Extra supplies are expected soon.

beat covid now – Swinburne University of Technology has partnered with Arq group to launch an online tool to help track the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Australia. The goal is to have five million Australians fill out a symptom tracker daily at beatcovid19now.org. The survey tool is designed for people who are healthy or unwell, including with symptoms of COVID-19.
All you need to do is provide your postcode and fill in the survey, you are not required to input any other information that would otherwise identify you. Based on the initial data, the intention is to further develop the tool and make it available internationally, to support the global effort to combat health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

planning – the government has announced revised deadlines for a number of planning matters. They have said they will be working closely with councils and the independent Tasmanian Planning Commission “to ensure all assessment and approvals processes can be kept open and applications can continue to be processed, consulted and assessed under modified processes that take account of coronavirus restrictions.”
The third round of consultation on the draft Major Projects Bill was due to close on 9 April 2020, but will now be extended to 15 May. The Department of Justice’s Planning Policy Unit will be available throughout this time to brief any person about the draft Bill.
An independent review of the Tasmanian Planning Commission’s roles and functions is currently being undertaken by consultants Forward Thinking. The public consultation period for the review has now been extended until 15 May 2020, and the consultants will continue to conduct interviews on request.
The draft Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Tourism Master Plan was recently publicly released for consultation until 14 May 2020. The original timing of this release was driven by national and International agreements, over which Tasmania had little control. This consultation period has now been extended to 25 June.

volunteeringVolunteering Tasmania has funding to expand their EV CREW volunteer register; if you would like to support the COVID-19 response through volunteering and be available to do wellbeing checks (phone or internet), pick up groceries and medications or provide transport please register with EV CREW.
If you are an organisation that needs more volunteers either because of increased demand or loss of volunteers please contact VT directly. The VT team have all moved to Work-from-Home but we are all still on deck and available.

ARENA – As the Government prepares huge economic stimulus measures, experts such as Ross Garnaut are saying now is ‘exactly the right time’ to invest strategically in renewables to strengthen our economy and energy system alike. Three weeks ago, Solar Citizens launched an open letter calling on the Government to continue funding the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. ARENA invests strategically in clean energy innovation creating thousands of jobs, and leveraging billions in private investment. The open letter can be read, signed and supported here.


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