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Monday, 23 October 2017

FUNDING BOOST FOR VULNERABLE PEOPLE IN LODDON REGION

The Andrews Labor Government is providing more than $1.7 million to support those experiencing financial hardship and tenancy issues in the Loddon region.

Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards announced the funding commitments by Labor Government for the Financial Counsellors Program (FCP) and Tenancy Assistance and Advocacy Program (TAAP).

Trusted and experienced community agencies St Luke’s Anglicare Bendigo, who will deliver the FCP, and ARC Justice, who will deliver the TAAP, provide expertise to ensure these programs will reach those who need support the most.

More than $1.2 million over the next four years (1 July 2017 to 30 June 2017) in FCP funding will deliver two full-time general financial counsellors and a part-time specialist family violence financial counsellor.

The FCP is a free, independent and confidential phone or face-to-face service, supporting people in financial difficulty by providing information and referral, financial counselling casework and related services.

Additional funding in September 2016 saw the introduction of the family violence financial counselling service, specialising in assisting those experiencing economic abuse.

This form of family violence often sees perpetrators take control of their victims’ savings and spending, rendering them financial dependant – a contributing factor to becoming trapped in violent relationships.

The TAAP provides services to tenants experiencing financial disadvantage and victims of family violence, including negotiation on behalf on tenants and outreach services. More than $510,000 over four years has been committed to fund one FTE position for the program.

The government has committed a total of $9.9 million for the FCP in 2017–18, which will see 64 full-time equivalent financial counsellors and 10 full-time equivalent family violence financial counsellors servicing Victoria.

These counselling services will be supported by the informative National Debt Helpline website (moneyhelp.org.au) and telephone service (1800 007 007).

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards MP

This major funding boost to the Loddon region will have a very real and tangible impact on the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our community.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan MP

“These life-changing programs will mean people in difficult circumstances will have somewhere to turn to keep themselves and their families’ safe – particularly those fleeing violence.”

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