New funding to help Bankstown’s unemployed

Bankstown is set to participate in Gillard Government programs that will address disadvantage and boost workforce participation through local initiatives in ten communities.

The Minister for Human Services, Tanya Plibersek, said “Bankstown is one of ten locations across Australia to have been selected to receive funding under these new initiatives.”

Bankstown will share in $38.2 million in funding over four years for innovative local programs to increase engagement and workforce participation. Ms Plibersek said two new programs that would operate as part of this funding in Bankstown are:

  • The Community Innovation Through Collaboration program and;-
  •  A trial of Case Coordination services for people who need intensive support.

Both of these programs were announced in the 2011 Budget.

Minister Plibersek today joined the Member for Blaxland, Jason Clare, and the Member for Banks, Daryl Melham, to meet with community groups in Bankstown to discuss the two new programs that will operate in Bankstown.

Mr Clare said the $38.2 million over four years, across the ten communities, will provide $25 million for a Local Solutions Fund to support innovative local projects, through the Community Innovation for Collaboration program.

“Funded projects will be based on the advice of local communities and could include for example:

  • Transport services for jobseekers to attend interviews in areas with poor public transport;
  • new “social enterprise” businesses that will give job seekers a start in the workplace or
  • helping young people get drivers licenses to take up jobs that require driving skills.”

“A further $13 million will fund Local Service Coordinators and Community Based Facilitators to ensure local services are delivered effectively in ways that benefit local families and individuals” said Mr Clare.

Mr Melham said the Gillard Government was committed to working with local organisations – the not-for-profit sector, communities and local government – to address disadvantage through tailored initiatives that draw on local expertise.

“It will help to ensure that the needs of local communities are addressed with well-resourced, collaborative and effective local solutions – rather than one-size-fits-all programs that are controlled from Canberra,” said Mr Melham.

“The funding will give the local community a say – making sure local organisations that assist disadvantaged Australians are actively involved in developing and delivering local solutions that address limitations of existing services,” said Mr Melham.

The City of Bankstown will also be one of the first sites in Australia to trial the Gillard Government’s new $74 million Case Coordination program for people who need intensive support.

Ms Plibersek said this new program would be trialled at 44 sites across the country, starting at 19 locations – including the City of Bankstown – in 2011-12.

“This program will provide targeted assistance for people in need, including job seekers, people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, carers, people in legal or financial difficulty and people with drug and alcohol issues” said Ms Plibersek.

Mr Clare said that the benefit of case coordination was that the level of service provided would reflect an individual’s needs.

“Services will range from simple referrals such as to a training program or other available services, to intensive support involving multiple, coordinated appointments with non-government and local community services.”

Mr Melham said “I’m delighted that the Gillard Labor Government is investing in this important new initiative that will provide more intensive and tailored support for people in need to help them participate in work and our community.”

Media Contact: Chris Zogopoulos 9790 2466