Chesters calls on community to support emergency relief

Lisa Chesters MP will today make a donation of $1000 to Cobaw Community Health’s Emergency Relief program.

“Many people in the Macedon Ranges are doing it tough – many people live on fixed incomes, wages aren’t keeping pace with the cost of living and there are simply not enough good, secure jobs available. Across the electorate, hidden poverty is growing,” said Ms Chesters.

Cobaw Community Health’s Emergency Relief program provides assistance to people experiencing an episode of financial stress.

“This program is about supporting people to cover the costs of basic necessities. Things like groceries, petrol, medications or that big winter electricity bill.

“Emergency Relief also provides a referral service for people who need financial counselling, housing support or health services.

“Unfortunately funding for this program is very limited and the high demand for assistance means people can only seek help once every three months.

“In the 2014 and 2015 Budgets, the Federal Liberal Government cut funding across the community service sector, making it increasingly difficult for programs like Emergency Relief to continue operating,” said Ms Chesters.

Cobaw Community Health Services is a not for profit organisation providing a range of free and low cost services to over 5,000 Macedon Ranges residents each year.

“Whilst Cobaw Community Health receive funding from a variety of government and community sources, private donations are critically important to ensure programs can continue. I hope that people who are in a position to donate can make a contribution to the Emergency Relief program.

“Poverty is not an individual problem it’s a society problem. When people are forced to live day to day, worried about the basics, they cannot fully participate in society,” said Ms Chesters.