- Help is on the way for people living in the metropolitan region who are facing financial hardship
- The McGowan Government has provided $7.418 million over four years to reinstate financial counselling services in the metropolitan area
Free financial counselling services will be boosted for Western Australians struggling to pay their bills, with more services in additional suburbs gaining access next month.
Community Services Minister Simone McGurk said the funding cut in the metropolitan region by the previous government would be reinstated. An additional $7.418 million will be provided over the next four years to deliver the free financial counselling services.
Ms McGurk said in addition to the services being provided by UnitingCare West and Anglicare WA, six new partner agencies would work in high-need areas.
Areas expected to receive services in the coming weeks include Morley, Mirrabooka, Alkimos/Yanchep, Innaloo/Karrinyup, Cannington, Canning Vale, Coolbellup, Forrestfield, Byford and Kwinana; and expanded in Ellenbrook.
Significantly, Jacaranda Community Centre in Belmont will provide culturally appropriate financial counselling and outreach services for Aboriginal people.
The McGowan Government has also allocated $5.6 million over four years to provide assessments for Hardship Utility Grant Scheme applications from non-Commonwealth concession cardholders.
In an interim arrangement for 2017-18, Anglicare WA, in partnership with UnitingCare West, will provide this service and assess these applications for payments. The service will be operational by April this year.
Comments attributed to Community Services Minister Simone McGurk:
"The $1.5 million in funding cuts implemented by the previous government left some of Western Australia's most vulnerable people out in the cold and some suburbs poorly serviced.
"Greater access to financial counselling services is vital if people in difficulty are to get back on track, and recover from financial hardship.
"We had no hesitation in making an election commitment to reinstate and extend funding for metropolitan financial counselling services. We are now delivering on that promise."
Minister's office - 6552 6600