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COVID-19: Update for Local Government
7 February 2022

In this issue...

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New Testing and Isolation Protocols
The Premier has announced that WA will move to high caseload testing and isolation protocols from Tuesday, 8 February.  
The quarantine period for interstate and international arrivals will also reduce to 7 days from Wednesday, 9 February.

These more relaxed settings will assist Local Governments to ensure business continuity and reduce impacts on their workforce.
Further information is available here.
Tax Treatment of work related COVID Tests
The Federal Treasurer has announced COVID-19 PCR AND RAT tests for work purposes will be tax deductable and not subject to fringe benefit tax.
In a speech to the Australian Industry Group today the Treasurer announced that COVID‑19 testing expenses will be tax deductible for testing taken to attend a place of work and that FBT will not be incurred by employers where COVID‑19 tests are provided to employees for this purpose.

Changes to the tax legislation will be required, with the Government aiming for the legislation to be in effect from the 2021-22 FBT and income years and be backdated to July 1, 2021.
Test Isolation Payments Introduced
Western Australians can apply for a $320 Test Isolation Payment if they are required to isolate while awaiting a COVID-19 PCR test result and consequently lose income.
The payment is available for eligible workers living in WA, aged 17 years and over, who are unable to undertake paid work during the isolation period and do not have access to paid leave or other income.

The payment is also available to eligible parents, guardians and carers who have lost income because their child, or someone they care for, has been directed to isolate while awaiting a COVID-19 PCR test result.

This may be useful for some Local Government staff, depending on their employment and leave status.
More information is available here.
Proof of Vaccination Directions (No 3)
Updated Proof of Vaccination Directions (No 3) have been released.
The Directions now include provision for the State Emergency Coordinator or their delegate to designate a place or venue as a specified vaccination venue, meaning that proof of vaccination would be required (Paragraph 66 b). 

WALGA has requested clarification from the Department of Health regarding whether Local Governments can apply to have a place or venue to be specified.

WALGA continues to receive a high volume of queries regarding the Directions and will provide additional information when responses are received.
ONE70, LV1, 170 Railway Parade,
West Leederville, WA 6007
PO Box 1544, West Perth, WA 6872
Tel: (08) 9213 2000 | Fax: (08) 9213 2077
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