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Government support for Bali victims and their families.

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Today I am pleased to announce that the Government will provide a comprehensive package of ongoing assistance to those affected by the Bali tragedy.

This is in addition to the substantial assistance the Commonwealth is already providing victims and their families.

These measures will include:

• meeting the out-of-pocket health and rehabilitation costs of victims for the injuries they sustained in Bali. For some, this will mean continuing assistance with medical treatment over their lifetimes.

• all reasonable out-of-pocket costs for transport incurred by injured victims and a supporting family member in attending medical treatment.

• reasonable out-of-pocket counselling costs for victims and those affected by the Bali tragedy, including family and friends of Bali victims.

• families of the deceased and the long-term injured will be able to receive emergency financial assistance to assist them meet costs where their needs cannot otherwise be met. This assistance will help families and victims meet outstanding costs as they come to terms with their grief and loss.

• Centrelink, which has played an active role in supporting families, will expand its Family Liaison Officer programme to assist victims and families in accessing necessary assistance and in providing ongoing support.

My department will be working with officers from Centrelink and the Departments of Health and Ageing and Family and Community Services on guidelines for the assistance mentioned above.

My Parliamentary Secretary, Ms Jackie Kelly, will continue to liaise with the victims of the Bali tragedy and their families as to their ongoing needs.

As we approach the first anniversary of October 12 2002, I want to reinforce the Government’s strong commitment to assisting the Bali victims and their families.

17 August 2003