Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$456,000 boost for financial counselling services in Far North Queensland

Joint Media Release with:

  • Jim Turnour MP, Member for Leichardt

Families in Cairns, Cape York and the Torres Strait facing financial pressure will now have better access to financial counselling support and services.

Lifeline Community Care Queensland and the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network Limited will each receive $228,000 until June 2011 to employ four part-time financial counsellors to help vulnerable people get back on their feet.

Minister for Families, Jenny Macklin, and Member for Leichardt, Jim Turnour, made the announcement during a visit to Lifeline Community Care in Cairns.

‘Many local families find it hard enough to pay for rent and bills, and put food on the table, so long-term planning often falls by the wayside,’ Ms Macklin said.

‘Financial counsellors help people to take the stress out of budgeting and give people the confidence to save for the future.’

Lifeline Community Care Queensland has been operating in the Cairns and Cape York communities since the early 1970s, and this funding will ensure people in the Far North have better access to these vital services.

In the past year, Lifeline Community Care in Cairns has provided casework services to around 300 clients.

‘This funding will not just help the people of Cairns and Cape York, families in Weipa and the North West Cape Communities of Napranum, Mapoon and Aurukun will also benefit,’ Mr Turnour said.

‘Lifeline Community Care Queensland will provide families in these communities with financial counselling to help them resolve financial issues and gain the confidence to save and care for their children.’

Lifeline Community Care Queensland provides one-on-one financial counselling but they also deliver a range of community education activities.

The Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network Ltd has been delivering services to Indigenous communities in the area for the past six years, including money management and support in Yarrabah and Palm Island.

The new financial counselling positions, based on Thursday Island and in Cairns, will build on their existing services, providing additional support to Indigenous people in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula area of Cape York.

Lifeline Community Care Queensland and Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network are two of around 750 community organisations currently providing Financial Management services through nearly 1300 outlets across Australia.

This funding is part of the Australian Government’s $130 million boost to help Australians under financial pressure.