Australia will receive new Federal Government funding for the charity sector to aid rapid assistance to people affected by bushfires.
The Morrison Government has announced an extra $50 million in funding on Wednesday from the government’s $2 billion recovery fund, for financial assistance, food vouchers and support services to assist in bushfire recovery.
Emergency relief funding for communities directly affected by the fire will rise by $40 million for The Salvation Army and St Vincent De Paul Society, to be used for a range of basics including utility bills, clothing and transport.
The remaining $10 million will be provided for financial counselling including extra support for the National Debt Helpline and funding for local providers.
“For many people right now it’s the basics that count,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement.
“We need to make sure everyone has food on the table and clothes on their backs.”
Mr Morrison said it would improve the situation for those affected.
“We are hoping this extra support will assist tens of thousands of people affected by bushfires to get through the coming days and weeks,” he said.
“I know many Australians are doing it really tough, they’ve seen their homes and livelihoods destroyed or damaged by these devastating fires.”
The Prime Minister also said that the government would also double family assistance from $400 per child to $800, stating the government estimated the cost to be $8 million for 20,000 children.
He promised to simplify the process for volunteer firefighters to claim up to $6,000 in lost income, with claims of $200 per day or less to be processed without substantiation, while those seeking to claim the full $300 per day will be asked for payslips and tax returns.
It came as Labor criticised the process for delivering disaster relief funding.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said people “should not have to deal with “red tape and bureaucracy in order to get the support that they need,” calling for a “single point of entry.”