06 February 2015
FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said new bridging funding announced by the Minister for Social Services the Hon. Scott Morrison will enable critical frontline services to continue in the New England Electorate.
Mr Joyce said the funding will mean critical services can continue while new services in the New England Electorate are properly established and clients are appropriately referred where need be.
“I have made strong representations to Minister Morrison to deliver bridging funding for frontline services. I am pleased the Minister has been able to act quickly to protect important frontline services from interruption while new arrangements are being implemented,” Mr Joyce said.
“The bridging funding will mean providers of frontline services under the Department of Social Services (DSS) grants programme will have their funding extended to 30 June 2015 while new services are properly established and clients are appropriately referred.
“Funding for emergency and food relief will be extended to 31 March 2015 to allow transition to new providers.
“The social services grants support front line services being delivered in our communities, and it is vital that these types of services remain available. It has been my priority in this transition that important frontline services are not interrupted while new services are being established.
“I am pleased the Minister is ensuring that gaps will not emerge in these critical services as the transition to new grants process takes place.”
Mr Joyce said last year the Government undertook a competitive tender for those seeking funding under an $800 million of Department of Social Services (DSS) grants round to support a broad range of vital frontline services that support communities around Australia, including families, seniors, Indigenous and cultural and linguistically diverse Australians as well as some of our most vulnerable.
“The election commitment made by the Government, and implemented through the New Way of Working for Grants, is reducing red tape, improving service delivery, and providing greater flexibility to these service delivery organisations.
“The measure also had the difficult task of absorbing a funding reduction of $271 million as part of the Government’s broader budget repair task. The funding round attracted unprecedented interest from service delivery organisations with more than 5,500 applications, seeking total funding of more $3.9billion. In implementing these savings the Government has focussed on delivering support to front line services in areas of greatest need.
“From today, DSS will begin negotiating new funding agreements with the organisations successful in recent grants funding rounds, including around 100 new organisations that will be taking on new service provision responsibilities.
“Over the coming months DSS will closely monitor the new arrangements to ensure programmes are meeting the needs of the community and will make adjustments as required.
“I don’t want to see critical community services fall between the cracks, which is why I am pleased the new Minister has established this new transitional process to work through any issues that may arise,” Mr Joyce said.