Dear Members,

Outcomes from National Cabinet meeting

National Cabinet met in Sydney this week to discuss COVID-19 settings and key joint-actions for the upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit.

The National Cabinet agreed to reduce the isolation periods for COVID-19 positive cases from seven to five following a positive test, with the following caveats:

  • This would apply to people with no symptoms at five days.
  • Seven days isolation remains for workers in high-risk settings including aged care, disability care, and those providing care in the home.

These changes will come into effect from Friday 9 September, with the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment (PLDP) eligibility to reflect the changed isolation periods, effective the same date.

National Cabinet also agreed to remove the mandatory wearing of masks on domestic flights. This change will also come into effect from Friday 9 September.

First Ministers agreed:

  • Commence work on a new National Skills Agreement in place from 1 January 2024 informed by the vision statement and guiding principles.
  • State and Territory Energy Ministers will work towards implementing reforms to accelerate the delivery of transmission projects. Regional communities will benefit from the investment, employment, and training opportunities presented by the energy transition.
  • Work together on a long-term vision for ECEC to better support parents’ workforce participation and deliver improved early learning and child development outcomes as a national priority.
  • That Education and Early Years Ministers will work together to identify priority areas where governments can collaborate to support better outcomes across the system, with a particular focus on Early Childhood Education and Care workforce shortages, and with an update on progress to be provided to the National Cabinet by the end of 2022.
  • Housing affordability issues will be discussed at the next in-person meeting of the National Cabinet.
  • The National Cabinet also agreed to task the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency to acceleration skills and qualification recognition in key sectors.

More info here.

Prime Minister’s speech to National Jobs and Skills Summit

You can read Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s opening keynote address to the National Jobs and Skills Summit here.  You can also read the opening economic keynote address delivered by the CEO of the Grattan Institute Danielle Wood here.

Victorian small business grants open

The Victorian Government has opened a grants program providing $2,000 to eligible Victorian small businesses to help pay for specialist business advice from an accountant, bookkeeper, or lawyer. The program is for employing small businesses that are established and have been operating since at least 1 July 2020. To be eligible for a grant under the Small Business Specialist Advice Pathways Program, a business must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a legally structured business registered in Victoria with an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN on and from 1 July 2020
  • Be registered with WorkSafe Victoria
  • Employ 1-19 full-time equivalent staff.

You can find the detailed program guidelines, FAQs, and application process here.  $5 million was provided in the State Budget to fund this program which equates to 2,500 grants. While the closing date for applications is nominally 30 September 2022, it will close once the funds are exhausted. The FCA expects that these grants will go quickly and be oversubscribed, so we encourage eligible members to apply right now.


Yours sincerely,

Brendan Tohill | Chief Executive Officer
VANA – Victorian Authorised Newsagents Association
NLNA – National Lotteries Newsagents Association