Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Twenty new financial counselling positions

Twenty new financial counselling positions around Australia will increase access to free counselling for people under increasing pressure from the global financial crisis.

The Australian Government is providing an additional $1.6 million to boost financial counselling services.

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

We know that many families are facing mortgage stress, credit card debt and cost of living pressures – often as a result of unemployment, sickness or family breakdown.

Having access to free community-based financial counsellors will help people make informed decisions about their situation and how best to manage their financial affairs.

It’s important that we reach people early so that we can provide the support needed to reduce the likelihood of problems escalating.

The new positions include telephone financial counselling and specialist positions to assist with housing debt.

The positions are located in high need areas where there is currently little or no access to services.

These areas have been identified in consultation with State and Territory Governments and other stakeholders.

These positions will provide additional resources to the non-profit sector which is coping with the impact of the global financial crisis.

The funding for these new positions builds on the Government’s earlier announcement of $3.5 million for 41 community and local government organisations to continue delivering financial counselling services around the country.

In the 2008-09 Budget, the Australian Government doubled funding for Commonwealth Financial Counsellors to $20 million over four years to provide more assistance to Australians under financial pressure.

The availability of professional financial counselling services can provide the help people need in these challenging financial times.

State/ Territory Region Provider
NSW Western Sydney Granville Multicultural Community Centre Inc
NSW Mid-North Coast Anglicare North Coast Inc
NSW Richmond-Tweed Lismore and District Financial Counselling Service Inc
VIC North West Melbourne FMC Relationship Services
VIC Greater Geelong The Salvation Army (Victoria) Property Trust
VIC Greater Dandenong FMC Relationship Services
QLD Logan City Youth and Family Service (Logan City) Inc
QLD Toowoomba/ Ipswich/ Upper West and Lower West Moreton/ Scenic Rim Lifeline Community Care QLD
QLD Gold Coast Palm Beach Neighbourhood Centre Inc
SA North and West Adelaide UnitingCare Wesley Bowden Inc
SA Whyalla, Pirie, Port Lincoln, Tumby Bay, Ceduna, Streaky Bay, Port Augusta UnitingCare Wesley Port Pirie Inc
Centacare Catholic Family Services, Catholic Diocese of Port Pirie
NT North West Top End Anglicare NT
NT East and West Arnhem Anglicare NT
Tas Tasmania Anglicare Tasmania Inc
NSW/ACT Telephone Financial Counselling: Specialist Position – Housing debt Consumer Credit Legal Centre (NSW) Inc
VIC Specialist Position – Individuals and families affected by drug and alcohol addiction Odyssey House Victoria
WA Telephone Financial Counselling Financial Counsellors Association of WA Inc