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Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Crisis funding for welfare agencies

Federal Minister for Community Services Larry Anthony today announced $18,000 in Emergency Relief funding for two Queensland welfare agencies new to the program.

“This funding will help families and individuals experiencing financial crisis in areas where there are currently no Emergency Relief funds,” said Mr Anthony.

“Welfare agencies play a vital role within their local communities by helping provide people with cash, food vouchers, transport fares, cheques for utility bills and referral to other services.”

The two agencies to receive the funding are the X-treme Youth and Community Association in Redcliffe and The Smith Family in Brisbane.

In July this year more than $5 million in Emergency Relief funds was allocated for Queensland.

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

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

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

In addition tot he 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.

“However, it is clear 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 helping those members of the Australian community who find themselves in crisis situations.”