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Financial Counselling Australia welcomes big funding boost in Western Australia and urges other states to do the same

Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) has welcomed a $6.8 million funding boost for financial counselling services in Western Australia as part of the state government’s WA Recovery Plan.

The money will be used to increase the number of financial counsellors in Western Australia through supporting existing services and establishing a new traineeship program. This will assist all Western Australians impacted by Covid-19 to get back on track financially.

“This comprehensive funding commitment from the WA Government will make a big difference to people in financial hardship and stress,” said the CEO of FCA, Fiona Guthrie.

“We urge other State and Territory Governments to follow the lead of the WA Government. It’s time for all state and territory governments to ensure the financial counselling sector is funded properly,” she said.

“Covid-19 is already having an enormous economic impact and unfortunately the situation is only going to get worse once the Federal Government’s assistance packages end in September.

“Funding financial counselling is one of the best ways to help people deal with growing debt and complex financial problems.

“Financial counsellors provide free, independent and confidential services. They’re dedicated professionals trained to deal with people in stressful situations and their methods work,” Ms Guthrie said.

Financial counsellors across the country have been assisting people with a wide range of issues since the pandemic began. They have been able to help thousands of people deal with personal and household debt, mortgage stress, rental arrears and rising utility costs.

They can assist by:

  • doing a full assessment of your financial situation
  • provide advice on how to negotiate with your creditors, government agencies and utilities
  • provide advice on your options and rights
  • referring you to other services when needed, such as emergency relief, legal and health services

Financial counsellors are not financial advisors or planners. They do not charge for their services and nor do they provide investment advice.

“Australia is facing an unprecedented crisis and the economic effects will be felt for a long time. The number of people in financial hardship is going to grow significantly and these people need access to quick and independent help,” Ms Guthrie said.

Media contact: Fiona Guthrie, 0402 426 835

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