Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) welcomes Tuesday’s announcement of an extra $3.5 million from the Federal Government to help people affected by the devastating bushfires.
The money will be used to fund financial counselling work in 22 not-for-profit organisations located in those communities most affected by the bushfires – NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australian and Tasmania.
Financial counsellors play a vital role in helping people respond, rebuild and recover from natural disasters like bushfire. They are able to support people by providing free, confidential and independent advice.
“Financial Counselling Australia thanks the Federal Government for this additional funding,” said Fiona Guthrie, CEO of FCA.
“The money is an important recognition of those people who are still struggling following last season’s traumatic bushfires.
“The $3.5 million will have a positive impact on the financial counsellors working on the ground, enabling them to give practical assistance to those who need it most,” Ms Guthrie said.
Financial counsellors provide advice and assistance on a wide range of financial matters including:
- Disputes with insurance companies, the pros and cons of cash settlements
- Difficulties in paying mortgages or rent or utility bills
- Negotiating with banks and other credit providers
- Assistance in accessing government grants
- Accessing Centrelink payments
“It’s important that none of us forget the huge impact the bushfires had on dozens of communities across Australia. These people have been trying to rebuild and recover for months and they’re now also dealing with the effects of Covid-19,” Ms Guthrie said.
Ms Guthrie also urged anyone struggling financially due to the fires to call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or the Small Business Bushfire Financial Counselling support line on 1800 413 828.
It’s important to note that financial counsellors are not planners or advisors. They don’t provide investment advice nor are they lenders