Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Big win for rural and regional Australia

Federal Minister for Community Services, Larry Anthony, today announced 36 services, many in rural and regional Australia, would receive funding under the second round of the Government’s $60 million national Reconnect program.

Reconnect was developed to help young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and their families, through strategies of early intervention and prevention,” Mr Anthony said.

“It was established to keep homeless or ‘at risk’ young people in contact with their families, education, training, employment and the community.”

From 1 July this year, 36 community organisations will receive funding to deliver services in local communities over three years.

In addition, the Department of Family and Community Services will work in partnership with local communities to develop Reconnect services across 10 regions where there are less well-developed community services infrastructure.

“The Government has a strong, ongoing commitment to ensuring the needs of families and young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are directly addressed,” Mr Anthony said.

“This is particularly the case in rural and isolated communities where people often have greater difficulty in accessing Government services.”

An additional 25 communities of high need will soon be identified for Reconnect services so that by 1 July 2001, there will be around 100 Reconnect services nationwide.

“The funding of these Reconnect services will better help meet the needs of people in rural and remote areas around Australia, as well as those in metropolitan areas, ” Mr Anthony said.