Plea on finance services cut
BELMONT FOLLOWING the State Government’s decision to cut financial counselling funding, Jacaranda Community Centre in Belmont began campaigning to have funds reinstated.
The State Government plans to stop funding the service in metropolitan areas by September 30 and save at least $6 million over the next four years.
Jacaranda provides financial counselling to about 30 people a day.
Chief executive Lyndsey Fitzgerald said the decision to cut funding means it wouldn’t be able to service as many clients who are often the most vulnerable members of the community.
Jacaranda would also lose staff who are fully qualified and trained to assist clients in financial stress.
East Metropolitan MLC Samantha Rowe said she had appealed to the City of Belmont to consider making an urgent financial commitment to Jacaranda.
“Four staff members who are employed through state funding are facing the very real prospect of losing their jobs,” she said.
“These are highly skilled peo- ple with local area experience, knowledge of current programs and policies, and who have spent many hours building up rapport, trust and understanding with local people.”
City of Belmont chief executive Stuart Cole said the City was concerned about funding cuts to financial counselling services and was in discussion with the State Government and Jacaranda about the issue.
Belmont MLA Glenys Godfrey said it was important to note that the changes to financial counselling funding only apply to the services provided by the Department of Child Protection.
“The Department of Child Protection was funding 47 agencies to provide different levels of financial counselling, but only 1 per cent of people using these services are families referred by this agency,” she said.
People who needed financial counselling services could still get support.
“There are 18 Commonwealth funded financial counselling services across Perth, including Lifeline, Centrecare, St Vincent de Paul and Midland Information Debt and Legal Advocacy Centre,” she said.