Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Funding boost to help people in crisis

More than 700 non-profit organisations across Australia will receive a funding boost to deliver emergency financial assistance to families in crisis, as part of an $80 million Australian Government assistance package.

The package includes $12 million over the next two years to deliver 50 new financial counselling positions in high-need areas. Eleven of these positions have already been selected and will be on the ground in July.

The global financial crisis is placing increasing pressure on household budgets.

Families are facing mortgage stress, credit card debt and cost of living pressures – often as a result of unemployment, sickness or family breakdown.
Providers have reported increased demand including more first time clients, more working families and more clients with complex needs.

In recognition of the increasing need, the Government is providing an 80 per cent increase to emergency relief on the base funding from previous years.

An additional $55 million over the next two years will be delivered to emergency relief providers to meet increased demand and fill critical service gaps. This means that over the next two years more than $120 million in emergency relief funding will be in communities, helping an estimated one million Australians each year.

The additional $55 million includes $10 million to respond rapidly to emerging areas of need using a new regional brokerage model. Key community organisations will be funded to work in partnership with other community organisations to identify urgent community needs and provide improved services to people in crisis.

There is also additional funding to deliver training to workers in more then 1200 emergency relief outlets across Australia, many of them volunteers.

More flexibility will be a key component of the increased funding. For the first time, emergency relief funding will be able to be used to provide brokerage and case management to ensure vulnerable families are given access to a range of services.

Emergency relief assistance typically includes food vouchers or parcels, household goods, clothing and financial assistance for utilities and food.

The Government is committed to continuing to support vulnerable families in these challenging financial times.
More than $11 million from this package was provided to emergency relief providers in March to meet the immediate demand.

The eleven financial counselling services to receive additional funding
Organisation State/ Territory Funding per Year
Kempsey Neighbourhood Centre Inc NSW – Mid-north coast $90,000
Northern Area Tenants Service Inc NSW – Western Sydney $90,000
Parramatta Mission NSW – Western Sydney $54,000
Bridging the Gap Sydney West Inc NSW – Western Sydney $54,000
Prisoners’ Legal Service Inc QLD – For prisoners and their families $90,000
The Salvation Army Queensland QLD – South-East Queensland $90,000
Anglicare SA Inc SA – North/west Adelaide $90,000
The Salvation Army Tasmania TAS $90,000
Geelong Ethnic Communities Council VIC – Greater Geelong $90,000
The Salvation Army WA – Perth, including Mirrabooka $90,000
Uniting Care West WA – Perth $90,000