Media Release by The Hon Paul Fletcher MP

Liberal-National Government invests over $200 million to support Australians experiencing hardship

Australians in financial crisis will receive vital emergency support with $204.5 million of new funding from the Liberal-National Government.

Federal Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher today announced $200 million for 185 community organisations delivering Emergency Relief.

In addition, $4.5 million in funding will be allocated to three organisations, Foodbank, SecondBite and OzHarvest, to provide Food Relief across Australia.

“The Liberal-National Government’s investment in these essential services improves outcomes for vulnerable families and children and helps to build strong and resilient communities. It will help keep Australians together,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Over 530,000 disadvantaged Australians were helped through this relief last year—providing a vital lifeline during times of crisis, such as illness, family violence or natural disasters such as the drought,” Mr Fletcher said.

This assistance can be in the form of food parcels, clothes, bedding, household items, vouchers for utilities and supermarkets, and can include referrals to services for mental health, crisis housing, drug and alcohol issues or financial counselling.

“This funding enables community organisations to get food supplies to many Australians impacted by crisis, including those currently doing it tough in the bush.

“And we can pay for these vital grants by keeping our economy strong and the federal budget on the path to surplus,” said Mr Fletcher.

The new Emergency Relief funding will be provided over a period of four and a half years commencing 1 January 2019.

Today’s announcement builds on $123.5 million in Government funding to deliver a range of other vital services from 1 January 2019, including financial counselling, access to microfinance and help for problem gamblers.