Media Release

Funding providers welcome boost for Emergency Relief and Food Relief in Greater Sydney and Victoria

UnitingCare Australia welcomes the Morrison Government’s announcement of an additional $8.9 million in funding for Emergency and Food Relief providers in Greater Sydney and across Victoria.

“This funding will allow vital services to provide the basic necessities of life that have become a struggle for those enduring lockdown”, said National Director of UnitingCare Australia and Chair of the Emergency Relief National Coordination Group (NCG), Ms Claerwen Little.

“The NCG has worked with the Morrison Government since the early stages of the pandemic to ensure that Emergency and Food Relief is allocated where it will provide the most assistance.

“We must remember the human face of the pandemic, the impact it is having on those self-isolating, in quarantine, or in lockdown, and the impact on those who rely on regular support payments to supplement their employment.

“The additional funding can go towards providing food, clothing, petrol, vouchers and help with bills ensuring that families can live with dignity during the ongoing challenges we continue to face as a community”, said Ms Little.

“The UnitingCare network has played a vital role since the onset of the pandemic, providing essential support to thousands of people and families in local communities across the country.

“The next major challenge we face is the vaccine rollout. We must ensure that there is no wrong door to getting a vaccination, especially for the most vulnerable. Many services within the UnitingCare network are already playing their part.

“UnitingCare Australia is working with the Government to promote a nationally coordinated approach so that every person in our community has equal and safe access to a vaccination.”

More information about emergency relief and service providers is available on the Department of Social Services website.

About UnitingCare Australia

UnitingCare Australia is the national body for the Uniting Church’s community services network and an agency of the Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia. We give voice to the Uniting Church’s commitment to social justice through advocacy and by strengthening community service provision. We are one of the largest networks of social service providers in Australia supporting 1.4 million people every year across urban, rural and remote communities, supported by 50,000 staff and 30,000 volunteers.

About the National Coordination Group

On 11 April 2020, Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, announced a new National Coordination Group (NCG) to advise the Government on how the response to Emergency Relief can assist individuals in need across Australia during the coronavirus pandemic. Members of the NCG include representatives from the Emergency Relief, Food Relief and Financial Counselling sectors and officers from the Department of Social Services (DSS).

The NCG is informed by state and territory sub-committees, and by locally focused Government Area Coordinators who are working closely with providers to understand what is happening on the ground.

In addition to information provided by the state and territory sub-committees, the NCG conducts its own research and data review, in order to ensure Emergency Relief is effective, and provides the Minister with evidence-based advice.