From Gordon Jacob Manager – B.N.C
12 March 2015
I have had a conversation with the providers for this area (which takes in Bellingen) and have been told by two that they haven’t enough money to assist with the Bellingen area. With another going on a hotline system and the other unwilling to discuss I am bewildered that the providers have not been given a specific area within the region. It appears the big areas Coffs Harbour and Grafton will be services by the small towns will be ignored. Surely, this is unjust and discriminates against those who live in a more isolated area of a Region.
I would like to know how much each of these organisations were given, are they to use the funds across the area, what is the amount of cuts to this region in the latest funding from previous funding.”
I believe the providers were made public yesterday. I spoke to Lifehouse Care and they may be able to assist in some form but will not know for a few weeks. They are being asked by a number who have been cut like us. Anglicare are the same, Salvos are going to do it by phone.
It appears those who received the funding will only have enough to meet the needs of the large areas such as Grafton and Coffs Harbour. This leaves us and the other smaller towns out in the wilderness. Hard luck but I guess we all live here because it is our lifestyle and Government won’t help anyone who want to live in a place they don’t agree with.
I have written to Luke Hartsuyker and suggested the 4 providers provide funding each so we can meet the needs of the Bellingen area. I must point out that Luke Hartsuyker has supported us through this whole mess.
Imagine if each member of parliament, 226 members, were to sacrifice .25% of the wage a fortnight we could operate the emergency relief program for 5 years under the previous funding we received. That is $20 per fortnight or $500 a year. If they would then I would do the same although mine would be about 1.25% per fortnight for the $20.00. High-income earners, say over $150,000 per year could also pay a small amount many of the cuts that have been made by Government could be met. I do not mean that the funds go into a Government account but in a trust to be administered to all the smaller non-for profits, the ones they do not take huge admin fees as they work for the clients not for themselves.
If business or individuals in Bellingen would also give a small amount then we could provide the program. We are looking for at least $20,000 a year to operate a very good program to help those on low income or Centrelink benefits who from time to time find they are in need of same support. Over 30% of the Bellingen population are on less that $600 a week and if they have to pay rent or meet a mortgage, pay the electricity, telephone and other living costs leaves very little at the end of the week. Subsistence living.
We will continue to fight to assist those who have fallen on hard times, and that could be anyone of us at any time if something changes in our life such as losing employment.