Financial inclusion plan delivering for vulnerable Queenslanders

The Palaszczuk Government continues to deliver on its Queensland Financial Inclusion Plan, supporting vulnerable Queenslanders experiencing financial stress and hardship.

Minister for Communities Coralee O’Rourke today (05 April) released the latest Financial Inclusion Plan report card, highlighting how the Palaszczuk Government has been implementing commitments made in the plan.

“This Report Card outlines the good work we have been doing to support vulnerable Queenslanders who are experiencing financial hardship and finding it hard to make ends meet,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“We are working hard to understand and address the factors that contribute to financial hardship and to help ease the cost of living pressures faced by all Queenslanders.

“I am pleased to announce that 51 out of 55 actions in the Financial Inclusion Plan have been completed and the remaining four actions are underway.

“Some of the actions we have taken as part of the plan include the appointment of 27 financial counsellors and financial resilience workers in 30 locations across Queensland.

“Since these services commenced in early 2017, financial counsellors and financial resilience workers have delivered more than 48,000 hours of support to more than 23,500 service users.

“We have also provided $32.5 million of financial assistance to Queenslanders who suffered hardship as a result of Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie.”

The Palaszczuk Government has invested $31.5 million over five years to implement the Financial Resilience program.

Mrs O’Rourke said one of the key elements of the Financial Resilience program is the implementation of two Good Money Stores in Cairns and Southport.

“In their first 12 months of operation these stores received almost 3500 general enquiries and provided almost 800 No Interest Loan Schemes loans and 60 Step Up loans,” she said.

“During this period, staff in these stores had 1828 conversations about insurance and reported zero instances of loan default.”

Other actions taken under the plan include helping QSuper members reunite with nearly $2 million of unclaimed superannuation and assisting 34,814 households find and apply for a rental property through the RentConnect program.

Mrs O’Rourke said the implementation of the Financial Inclusion Plan was an example of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to creating thriving communities.

“We want to create thriving communities where Queenslanders, regardless of their personal circumstances, are able to participate and be included in their communities, be resilient and enjoy social and economic wellbeing,” she said.

“Our focus is on boosting the resilience of vulnerable Queenslanders and their ability to bounce back from financially stressful life events by providing improved access to financial services and advice.

“We also want to protect Queenslanders from predatory and exploitative lending practices and improve their access to safe, affordable products and services.”

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