Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

More help for New South Wales people in crisis

The Federal Minister for Community Services, Larry Anthony, today announced up to $100,000 in new Emergency Relief funding for 11 welfare agencies in New South Wales.

“This funding will assist families and individuals, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, experiencing financial crisis in both rural and urban areas where there are currently no Emergency Relief funds,” Mr Anthony said.

“Welfare agency workers play a vital role in helping people by providing cash, food vouchers, transport fares, cheques for utility bills and referral to other services.”

In July this year, $7.7 million in Emergency Relief funds was allocated for NSW. Almost $200,000 of that was set aside for the recruitment of agencies, most to provide services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“The Emergency Relief program is about helping families and individuals who are in crisis get through their immediate difficulties,” Mr Anthony said.

“While providing short-term financial support for people is essential, another aspect of the program is to prevent on-going hardship by linking people where possible to other services and supports.

“Agencies may access local networks of support services like financial advisers and family counsellors who can help people get back on their feet.”

In addition to the Federal Government’s financial support, an extensive review was completed last year to ascertain the effectiveness of the Emergency Relief program.

“The review produced some interesting results which will help us develop better support mechanisms for agencies,” Mr Anthony said. “But it is clear that there is a real need to provide ongoing training and support to the many volunteers who work with agencies.

“The continued funding and support of these essential services is crucial to help those members of the Australian community who find themselves in crisis situations.”