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.
Minister for Social Services, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, said the boost in funding aims to support individuals rebuild financially.
“The financial and material loss associated with the floods significantly impacts a person’s ability to pay bills and manage debt,” Minister Rishworth said.
“This additional funding will ensure providers are able to deliver much-needed help to vulnerable individuals and families in flood affected communities.”
The funding will increase support services provided by financial counsellors, including navigation of financial assistance, such as insurance claims, grant applications, mortgage and loan moratoriums, and claims for hardship for outstanding debts.
Minister Rishworth said 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, and as the new Minister for Social Services, I am committed to helping those who need it most,” Minister Rishworth said.
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.