Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

$21.5 million for 158 communities

158 new projects across Australia will share in over $21.5 million in funding under the Howard Government’s highly successful Local Answersinitiative.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today announced the additional funding for the new projects will further help communities to develop local solutions to local problems.

“As part of the initiative, communities will work in partnership with government and business to build better parenting and relationship skills, support mentoring and leadership and encourage access to training and education by young parents,” Senator Patterson said.

“One of the successful projects to receive funding under the Local Answers initiative is Blacktown Migrant Resource Centre. Blacktown Migrant Resource Centre will receive $149,709 over two years.

“Under its ‘Building Family Harmony in CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) Communities in Blacktown Local Government Area‘ project, the centre will work with refugees to help them integrate into Australian society by providing parenting workshops and information about Australian laws and services.

Local Answers, part of the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy, supports small scale, locally developed projects, which help families and communities to build their skills and abilities to resolve issues and create opportunities.

“The Howard Government has committed a further $70 million to the expansion of Local Answers, bringing the total funding to $137 million over four years.

“As a result of this further commitment, bi-annual funding rounds will now take place, giving families and communities the power to develop their own solutions and help them to help themselves.

“This second round of funding under Local Answers builds on the previous achievements of the initiative, where 111 projects have been funded for a total of $19 million.

“This initiative recognises that local communities are in a position to understand what their local needs are and how they can best be addressed.

Local Answers is an example of the Howard Government’s continued commitment to helping communities at a local level by providing funding for local answers,” Senator Patterson said.

For further information on the Howard Government’s Stronger Families and Communities Strategy visit and future Local Answers funding rounds will be advertised on the website and in the press.