Counselling cash ‘still falls short’

In June, the State Government announced a $1.5 million funding cut for financial counselling including local service providers Blue Sky Community Group and the Salvation Army Morley Corps.

Each was set to lose $121,610 by September 30.

But this month the State Government committed to reinstating $1.8 million.

Opposition Community Services spokeswoman Simone McGurk said financial counselling services were already struggling to cope with calls for assistance, even before the funding cut.

�Anything less than $2.4 million will be a slap in the face and shows the Government doesn�t care about helping people in need,� she said.

�There�s a huge demand for financial counselling services that won�t go away just because the State Government cut funding.

�The slowdown in the resources industry means an increasing number of people will need to access these services.�

Ms McGurk said the Government needed to ensure any new arrangement provided enough funding to properly support West Australians who were doing it tough.

Child Protection Minister Helen Morton said the Government was working with the financial counselling sector to develop a revised service delivery model that was efficient, integrated and sustainable.

�Revised funding and delivery arrangements are intended to commence from October 1 in the metropolitan area,� she said.

�All regional financial counselling contracts were extended last month until September 30.

�Discussions with the sector are likely to be completed by mid-August.�

Ms Morton said she reduced funding to the metropolitan financial counselling sector from the Department for Child Protection and Family Support because it was not the core business of the department.