Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

More support for drought affected families

The Gillard Government is delivering $6.6 million to continue family support services for drought affected families across Australia.

In the past year, the Government’s Family Support Drought Response Teams have helped more than 13,500 families in rural and regional Australia, almost double the number of people expected to access the service.

Family Support Drought Response Teams, including social workers, psychologists and community welfare workers, provide a helping hand to families who are experiencing emotional and financial stress due to prolonged drought conditions.

The teams travel to regional areas and make personal visits to properties to provide a range of services including financial advice, counselling, relationship and family advice, crisis intervention and referrals to other government services.

We know that prolonged drought conditions can have a devastating affect on families. The financial burden can impact on family relationships and mental health.

Through the one-on-one support of the Family Support Drought Response Teams drought affected families can receive free and confidential advice, support and referrals.

We are targeting funding under this initiative to those communities still heavily affected by drought and experiencing the greatest need.

The Gillard Government also remains committed to reforming the drought support system, with a 12 month trial of a new package of measures underway in Western Australia.

Communities that have been more recently affected by drought conditions, such as Queanbeyan, the Bega Valley, Mildura and Whittlesea will also be covered for the first time.

Organisations receiving funding for 2010-11 are:

State/Territory Organisation Exceptional Circumstances area 2010-11 funding
ACT CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn Bega Valley, Yass, Goulburn & Young $313,999
Relationships Australia Canberra & Region Braidwood, Cooma, Bombala, ACT & Hay $351,999
New South Wales Anglicare Armidale Nyngan $129,199
Centacare Bathurst Condobolin, Dubbo & Molong $115,999
Centacare Wagga Wagga Gundagai, Riverina, Southwest Slopes & Plains $345,999
Centacare Wilcannia-Forbes Condobolin, Narrandera, Forbes and Western Division $263,999
Queensland Centacare Toowoomba Central Darling Downs, Northern Darling Downs, Western Downs-Maranoa and South West Queensland $234,799
Centrelink Far West Queensland & the Gulf $211,199
South Australia Centacare Adelaide Murray Mallee $155,599
Centacare Port Pirie North West Rangelands & Central North East $200,856
Relationships Australia SA River Murray and Lower Lakes $439,999
Victoria Centacare Ballarat Mallee, Northern Wimmera $316,799
Centacare Melbourne Central Victoria South $422,399
Centacare Sandhurst Central Victoria North & North East Victoria $511,999
Relationships Australia Central and East Gippsland and Northern Victoria. $363,998