The Commonwealth will extend more than $190 million of funding for two-years for Emergency Relief, Food Relief, and Financial Counselling to meet ongoing demand as a result of recent natural disasters, and to help address continued cost of living pressures.
The two-year funding extension through to 30 June 2025 will provide certainty and stability to around 250 individual community organisations and will deliver critical supports to vulnerable people across Australia.
This funding continues the $97.5 million per year in base funding for these services.
The Albanese Labor Government has also extended the National Coordination Group through to July 2023 to assist with monitoring the demand for services and provide advice to Government, primarily following major disasters.
The Financial Wellbeing and Capability funding extension will provide stability for Commonwealth Financial Counselling services while the new industry funding model for financial counselling is assessed.
The community services sector will receive longer-term grant arrangements and continuity of service delivery and securing jobs for community workers.
The following Financial Wellbeing and Capability Activity programs will be assisted through the funding extension:
- Financial Crisis and Material Aid: Emergency Relief
- Financial Crisis and Material Aid: Food Relief
- Commonwealth Financial Counselling and Financial Capability
- Commonwealth Financial Counselling and Financial Capability – Capability Building
- Problem Gambling Financial Counselling
- Money Support Hubs, and
- Financial Counselling Helpline (National Debt Helpline).
Providers will be required to continue delivering Financial Wellbeing and Capability services across the service areas outlined in their current grant agreements, should they accept the extension.
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said adequately resourcing Financial Wellbeing and Capability Activity programs would make a significant difference to the lives of Australians impacted by natural disasters and financial crisis.
“The Albanese Labor Government is committed to a better Australia by holding no one back and leaving no one behind,” Minister Rishworth said.
“We want to ensure emergency relief, food relief and financial counselling funding is there to help Australians both during natural disasters but also afterwards to be able to rebuild their lives.
“Our Government is committed to helping those in their time of need.”