Emergency Relief National Coordination Plan

The Government is working closely with the emergency relief and food relief sectors nationally to ensure organisations can continue to operate and deliver this vital support to the community, particularly at this critical time.

Supporting service providers in responding to the coronavirus outbreak

On 29 March 2020, the Australian Government announced an additional $200 million (GST exclusive) to support charities and other community organisations in responding to the coronavirus outbreak. The additional funding will be available over two financial years from 2019-20 to 2020-21. This is part of the $1.1 billion package to support mental health, Medicare and domestic violence services across Australia.

The additional funding will support the community sector and vulnerable Australians during these challenging times.

On 11 April 2020, the Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, announced $100 million of these funds would be immediately distributed to over 300 charities and community organisations. This will enable an immediate ramp up in the provision of Emergency Relief right across Australia. The remaining $100 million would be allocated over the next six months, through advice from the sector as the coronavirus pandemic evolves.

Emergency and Food Relief

The Government is already investing more than $200 million over four and half years to 30 June 2023 for Emergency Relief and Food Relief support.  This additional funding significantly increases the Government’s investment in these vital services, in recognition that the economic impacts of the coronavirus emergency mean that Australians who have not previously accessed Emergency Relief support may now need to do so.

Funding of over $37 million was made available from April 2020 to Commonwealth-funded Emergency Relief providers to:

  • Source, retain and increase workforce capacity, including volunteers – noting that coronavirus could impact workforce capacity, including volunteer support, for Emergency Relief providers;
  • Implement and extend home delivery services;
  • Provide financial and material assistance to those who are at imminent risk of not being able to pay a bill.

The Australian Red Cross has also been provided $7 million to deliver emergency relief and counselling support to the most vulnerable temporary migrants.

In addition, Food Relief providers Foodbank Australia, SecondBite and OzHarvest have been allocated a further $16 million to immediately increase their workforce, food supplies and transport options.

A full list of Commonwealth funded emergency relief services can be found at serviceproviders.dss.gov.au. For local emergency relief providers search ‘Financial Crisis and Material Aid – Emergency Relief’ in the search function. Please note provider details are updated regularly, however, from time to time service providers change their service locations, which may result in the locational information not being current at the time of your search.

The National Coordination Group

The national coordination plan supports the identification and analysis of local, state and sector issues and needs, and oversees implementation of emergency and food relief across the country.

To ensure there is a collaborative, timely and coordinated approach to emergency relief and food relief across Australia, a sector-led National Coordination Group has been established, with representatives from the Emergency Relief, Food Relief and Financial Counselling sectors and the Department of Social Services (DSS).  The National Coordination Group has been tasked to provide advice to Government and oversee opportunities to ensure the sector moves to more efficient models of operation, to better support emergency responses in the future.

The National Coordination Group is informed by State/Territory Coordination Groups, and a locally focused network of Government Area Coordinators (GACs) within DSS who will work closely with providers to analyse the impact of services, identify gaps and ensure that support is provided where it is needed.

Representation on the National Coordination Group

The National Coordination Group is comprised of representatives from the following organisations:

  • Salvation Army Australia
  • St Vincent de Paul Society Australia
  • Australian Red Cross
  • Anglicare Australia
  • UnitingCare Australia
  • Catholic Social Services Australia
  • Financial Counselling Australia
  • Foodbank Australia
  • Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care

For more information on the National Coordination Group, visit the National Coordination Group page.

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