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Taking the financial stress out of the festive season



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M e d i a R e l e a s e

JENNY MACKLIN MP Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Taking the financial stress out of the festive season

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, today rolled up her sleeves to pack Christmas hampers for vulnerable families and individuals in Melbourne.

Ms Macklin visited Anglicare Mission House in Fitzroy to meet local people who are getting a helping hand this Christmas from the Australian Government and Anglicare.

This holiday season the Government is helping to reduce financial stress for vulnerable families by providing funding for emergency relief providers, like Anglicare Mission House, across the country.

“Here in Fitzroy, Anglicare Mission House has received $185,000 over three years to help local people who’ve hit rock bottom and need a helping hand to pay their rent or bills and to put food on the table for the kids,” Ms Macklin said.

“Across Victoria we are delivering nearly $40 million over three years to 162 community organisations that help meet people’s immediate needs in times of crisis.

“Nationally we are delivering $242.5 million over four years to deliver emergency relief services.”

Emergency relief includes food parcels and clothing, transport, chemist vouchers, help with rent and utility bills, and referrals to other government and non-government organisations.

“We know that there are families doing it tough this Christmas. Already this year, Anglicare Mission House had more than 700 requests for Christmas hampers,” Ms Macklin said.

“I want to make sure that people are able to enjoy time with their families this Christmas, and not having to worry about whether they will have enough money for essentials like food or rent.”

This Christmas the Government is also helping families get back on their feet by funding financial counsellors who provide free, confidential and professional counselling to people with financial difficulties.

The Government is delivering $56.6 million for financial counselling, including $2.2 million for a national telephone financial counselling helpline - 1800 007 007 - to complement the 96 organisations delivering face-to-face services across Australia.

For more information visit www.fahcsia.gov.au

Date: 13 December 2011

Media Contact: Kate Thwaites 0429 067 500