Major Church Providers Welcome Meeting With Deputy Prime Mininster

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27th January 2009, 09:45am - Views: 757






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MEDIA RELEASE



MAJOR CHURCH PROVIDERS WELCOME MEETING WITH DEPUTY

PRIME MINISTER 



Major church providers have expressed optimism ahead of a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister

Julia Gillard in Sydney today where they will discuss measures to help limit the impact of the Global

Financial Crisis on vulnerable Australians and the social services they rely on. 


The meeting will consider the recommendations from the major church providers Summit in Canberra

late last year, including key findings of the Access Economics report released at the Summit.


The report found that 80,000 people were turned away last year from unemployment programs, crisis

accommodation and financial assistance because of a lack of funding, and estimated that up to

140,000 Australians could lose their jobs in the coming year as a result of the Global Financial Crisis.


The Summit noted that demand for social services, particularly emergency relief and financial

assistance, was already increasing as a result of the Global Financial crisis.


The Summit recommended that:


Government establish a Crisis Response and Recovery Taskforce to track and respond to the

impact of the Global Financial Crisis on vulnerable Australians and social services.  The

taskforce should include representatives of government and the social services sector and

advise both the Prime Minister and the Council of Australian Governments.


Government urgently commit additional financial resources to meet both existing unmet need,

and the rising demand for assistance resulting from the Global Financial Crisis.  


Government take measures to prevent those experiencing hardship for the first time becoming

chronically engaged in the social services system.  Such measures should include action by

banks and other lending institutions to prevent people facing foreclosure from losing their

homes. These measures would complement direct action to assist those already

disadvantaged.  


The community sector (or not for profit organisations) should be given a seat on the

Infrastructure Australia Board to ensure that the needs of vulnerable and low income

Australians are central to the Board’s deliberations.


The four major church social service provider networks provide the majority of social services in

Australia. Spokespeople include:


Anglicare Australia



Kasy Chambers, Executive Director

Catholic Social Services Australia

Frank Quinlan, Executive Director

Salvation Army



David Eldridge, Australia Southern Territory 

UnitingCare Australia



Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director


27 January 2009 


Contact:

Judith Tokley, Catholic Social Services Australia  0408 824 306

Michael Brown, UnitingCare Australia  0418 916 936 






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