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Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Government Help for Bali Victims and Families

The Howard Government is committed to helping Australians affected by the Bali bombings and will cover all reasonable expenses associated with the tragedy for victims and their immediate families.

Centrelink is the central contact point for information about the help available to people. For example, they will book and pay for flights, and pay a daily living allowance into people’s bank accounts to help cover their expenses while they are away from home.

Centrelink has already set up a 24-hour hotline that will continue to operate every day while people need support. The telephone number is 136 125 for people calling in Australia and an International Freecall 001 803 61 383 for those phoning from Indonesia.

Financial help provided to affected people includes:

  • all medical and travel costs for victims;
  • travel costs to and from Bali for relatives;
  • accommodation and related costs for families of victims while they are in Bali;
  • airfare and accommodation costs for families to visit their loved ones in hospital within Australia;
  • return home travel costs from Bali for victims and their family members;
  • funeral expenses not covered by insurance; and
  • income support for those unable to support themselves due to personal injury or caring for a relative.

While this covers a wide range of costs, we will also look at helping people on an individual basis where they have different expenses that relate to the Bali tragedy, and which cause particular hardship.

People who have already made the trip to see their loved ones should ring the hotline because they may be reimbursed for their travel and accommodation expenses. People still in Bali who are in hardship can also ring the hotline for help.

This is a time when all Australians have to pull together and while the Government can’t relieve people’s pain and suffering we can, and will help ease the financial burden.