WHILE three new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Victoria overnight, there were no new cases in the City of Whittlesea, Mitchell Shire Council or Macedon Ranges Shire Council.

The State Government has today announced a relief payment of up to $1100 for international students, as part of a government emergency support package to help tens of thousands of people across the state.

International students have been affected by casual job losses in retail and hospitality any many have fallen through the cracks of Federal Government programs.

“It’s important that we back the people who have made such a strong commitment to our state, and we will make sure that our education providers can emerge from the other side of this crisis in a position to quickly rebuild,” Education Minister James Merlino said.

The payment will help student buy the basics to get through the crisis and the State Government will establish a $45 million International Student Emergency Relief Fund.

More than 150,000 international students currently living in Victoria are also eligible for the State Government’s rent relief program, including subsidies of up to $2000, and those legally allowed to work in Victoria are eligible for the Working for Victoria initiative.

International students inject roughly $32 billion a year into the Australian economy.

“International students give so much to Victoria – it’s only fair we support them in their hour of need,” Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula.

“This virus doesn’t discriminate and neither do we – we are in this together and we will get through it together.”