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Budget 2011: Supporting regional Australia with extra funding for community mental health services



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Media Releases Funding boost to help vulnerable and disadvantaged Australians

Date: 13/05/2011

Joint Media Release with:

• Julie Collins MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services • Deb O'Neill MP,Member for Robertson

Front-line community organisations will be able to provide additional support to vulnerable and disadvantaged Australians with a $83.3 million funding boost over four years for emergency relief services announced in the 2011-12 Budget.

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, the Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services, Julie Collins and the Member for Robertson, Deb O'Neill today welcomed the Gillard Government's investment.

"This secure, ongoing support shows the Government's commitment to continue helping Australians in need," Ms Macklin said.

"Emergency relief services provide vulnerable families and individuals with food and clothing, pharmacy and transport vouchers, and help with accommodation and utility bills."

Ms Collins said Government had listened to community organisations and delivered three year funding agreements to provide them with certainty into the future.

"This secure, ongoing investment in front line community organisations will ensure services nation-wide can continue to help people in need," Ms Collins said.

"Funding for emergency relief services was originally boosted in response to the global financial crisis and this week's announcement will allow community organisations to continue delivering vital services to local people."

Speaking at the Gosford City Community and Information Service, Ms O'Neill said this funding would help the service continue to provide support such as supermarket vouchers, meals, rental assistance and school breakfast programs.

"Emergency relief services help with people's immediate needs in times of crisis and this announcement is great news for vulnerable people in Gosford and surrounding areas," Ms O'Neill said.

"This ongoing investment recognises that demand for emergency relief remains high on our community."

This funding is part of a $171.9 million boost over four years in emergency relief services, financial counselling services, and for innovative projects such as low interest loans and matched savings schemes.

It is in addition to the Gillard Government's investment of $15.7 million to 31 December 2012 in emergency relief and financial counselling services in disaster affected areas in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales, announced on 16 April 2011.

Together these measures represent a 60 per cent increase on base funding for emergency relief providers across Australia.

The Gillard Government recognises that we have a patchwork economy. That is why it is critical to make room in a responsible Budget to support the most disadvantaged in our community.