Call to fund vi­tal work

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS -

The un­cer­tain fu­ture for a Be­nalla-based ru­ral out­reach worker has been taken up by State Mem­ber for Euroa and Vic­to­rian Na­tion­als deputy leader Steph Ryan.

Ms Ryan’s first act af­ter be­ing sworn in for a se­cond term was to high­light Ivan Lis­ter’s role as the out­reach worker to the other MPs.

Ms Ryan sub­mit­ted a no­tice of mo­tion, mov­ing that par­lia­ment pay tribute to Mr Lis­ter for his ef­forts to sup­port farm­ers and ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties through dif­fi­cult sea­sonal and eco­nomic cir­cum­stances.

The mo­tion called on the An­drews Govern­ment to fund Mr Lis­ter’s work on an on­go­ing ba­sis be­fore his fund­ing runs out at the end of this month.

‘‘I have made rep­re­sen­ta­tions to min­is­ters, state and fed­eral, in re­cent weeks to high­light the won­der­ful work that Ivan does in our lo­cal com­mu­nity,’’ Ms Ryan said.

‘‘The need for fund­ing is now ur­gent, which is why I used my first speech in par­lia­ment to draw at­ten­tion to Ivan’s role as our lo­cal ru­ral out­reach worker.

‘‘Ivan’s role was ini­tially funded to help drought-af­fected fam­i­lies but over the years he has be­come a crit­i­cal link for peo­ple fac­ing other nat­u­ral dis­as­ters in­clud­ing bush­fires, floods and even tor­na­does.

‘‘He has helped peo­ple through the dairy cri­sis and sup­ported peo­ple who have been suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety, the break­down of their fam­ily and fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties.’’

Ms Ryan said Mr Lis­ter worked closely with lo­cal GPs and other health pro­fes­sion­als and had built a re­la­tion­ship of trust be­tween farm­ers and other sup­port ser­vices.

‘‘In the last fi­nan­cial year alone, Ivan made con­tact with 329 peo­ple lo­cally, in­clud­ing 191 men and 138 women.

‘‘About half of those were re­turn vis­its, and half were new re­fer­rals.’’

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