Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said more mental health support is available for children attending early childhood education and care services and school students in bushfire-affected communities.
The Coalition Government will provide a further $8 million for mental health support through Beyond Blue to fund an extra 25 Beyond Blue liaison officers and support clinicians to work with local schools and early childhood services in these communities.
“It’s incredibly important we focus on the mental wellbeing of our communities, especially our youngest members in the New England,” Mr Joyce said.
“Our Government is continuing to support families affected by the bushfires in areas like Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Inverell, Armidale and Walcha, offering a Child Care Subsidy activity test debt exemption for the 2019-20 financial year.
“This means that families can still access the Child Care Subsidy even if their work, study or volunteering hours have been impacted by the current bushfire disaster.
“Funding is also being allocated to help early childhood education and care providers in bushfire-affected areas in the New England to pay for temporary premises, replacement of damaged playground equipment, or wages for affected staff.
“The Government is providing an additional $400 (a total of $800) for each child that has qualified for the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment which can help families with the necessities – such as school uniforms, sports uniforms, stationery and books.
“Our Government’s program will help ensure families and children get back on their feet after the bushfires.
“These announcements are part of the Federal Government’s ongoing efforts to help Australians impacted by these devastating bushfires with the support and assistance needed to recover and rebuild lives.”
Bushfire-affected, local government areas in the New England eligible for child care assistance include: Armidale, Glen Innes Severn, Gwydir, Inverell, Tamworth, Tenterfield, Upper Hunter, Uralla and Walcha.
For more information and to apply for this support, click here.