Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Coalition Government Supporting Fathers

┬áThis Father’s Day, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony reminds all Australians of the important role fathers play in a child’s upbringing.

The Australian Government recognises that fathers can make an invaluable contribution to their children’s lives with considerable investments in innovative services to help dads and support families. Mr Anthony said that the experience of being a father is one of the most rewarding in a man’s life.

“Earlier this year, the Prime Minister announced an increased funding from $54 million to $69 million for the Family Relationships Services Program, which includes the Men and Family Relationships program and Men’s Line Australia.

“The Men and Family Relationships program supports 44 community organisations operating men’s services in more than 80 locations in rural, regional and metropolitan Australia.

“These services help men to manage a range of relationship issues with children, partners, and ex-partners and during 2002-03 over 8,000 clients were assisted through this program.

“The Coalition Government will also provide the Family Action Centre with funding of $50,000 for their Engaging Fathers conference that is aimed at practitioners working with dads to get them more involved in parenting.

“In 2004-05 the Australian Government will provide more than $880,000 to Men’s Line Australia, a national 24 hour a day family relationships counselling service for men available throughout Australia.

“Also, in April, we launched the refocussed $365 million Stronger Families and Communities Strategy that includes a range of parenting initiatives including $4 million into a new Parenting Information website. Fathers are a particular focus for this new funding.

“Through these initiatives the Australian Government is providing essential support to fathers and their families. This support reflects the community’s recognition of the importance of fathers, not just on Father’s Day but on every day of the year,” Mr Anthony said.