The Australian Government has announced an additional $5.2 million for financial counselling supports to help those affected by the floods in NSW and Queensland earlier this year.
Federal Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann said the funding boost aims to support individuals rebuild financially.
“The financial and material loss associated with the floods across the local region significantly impacts a person’s ability to pay bills and manage debt,” Mr Neumann said.
“This additional funding will ensure providers are able to deliver much-needed help to vulnerable individuals and families in flood affected communities.”
Mr Neumann acknowledged that continued flooding throughout NSW was triggering for many local families, still struggling to find accommodation or repair their homes.
“I talk to many local people who are living in unrepaired homes or forced to reside with friends and family, often in tents and caravans.
“The additional financial counsellors will not solve those problems, but they can support people with accessing financial assistance, insurance claims, grant applications, mortgage and loan moratoriums and claims for hardship for outstanding debts.
“Financial counsellors play a vital role helping Australians in financial difficulty by providing free, independent, and confidential advice on ways to manage debts and make informed choices about their money.
“Financial counselling providers are a real lifeline for people, particularly following the impact of natural disasters.
“This Government is committed to assisting those who need it most.”
This is the first allocation of extra funding for financial counselling in flood-impacted areas and is in addition to the $44 million provided per year for Commonwealth financial counselling programs to support individuals nationally.