Mt Barker emergency relief funding returned

30/11/2015

After nearly six months without an emergency relief funding outlet in Mt Barker, today emergency relief funding services return to Mt Barker Community Resource Centre through a memorandum of understanding with Southern AgCare.

Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson MP said when he heard Mt Barker CRC had been unsuccessful in the December 2014 emergency funding relief program he was very disappointed.

Mr Wilson said he spent many months speaking with the then Minister for Social Services Scott Morrison about the needs of small isolated communities.

“Thankfully, the hard work has paid off and through funding allocated to Southern AgCare, Mt Barker CRC can now provide emergency relief for the people of Mt Barker,” Mr Wilson said.

“There seems to be a move towards the government wanting to deal with larger organisations for funding but that doesn’t always work in regional areas like Mt Barker.

“I couldn’t work out how an organisation that had been delivering the service for years had suddenly not been successful.  It’s very good to see two Great Southern organisations now working together for the good of the community.”

Mount Barker CRC Welfare Services Coordinator Leanne Heald said many Mt Barker residents were finding themselves having to get to Albany to use services that people in the cities take for granted.

“When we had the emergency relief program running it was extra support for people who needed it. We helped with emergency accommodation, food vouchers, fuel vouchers, medication and other essentials and it helped people avoid situations where service disconnection, hunger and homelessness could be something that our clients were faced with,” Ms Heald said.

“The service being reopened means that we can offer the same services that we offered before. We hope to be able to offer more than just vouchers for the immediate need but also a support network where people can use other services.

“We want to be able to give our community the tools they need to be able to secure employment, good health and education.”

ENDS

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