The WA Government will invest more than $6.8 million to further expand financial counselling services to help get Western Australians, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, back on track.
As part of the WA Recovery Plan in response to COVID-19, WA Premier Mark McGowan and WA Community Services Minister Simone McGurk announced the relief package with an additional $3.7 million in funding to expand existing financial counselling services.
The funds will help to meet the existing and anticipated increase in demand for financial counselling advice arising from COVID-19 economic impacts.
The initiative is expected to create more than 40 FTE jobs for the financial counselling sector.
In a first for the State, the package includes funding for financial counsellors with specific expertise in small business debt.
The State Government will also work closely with the Financial Counsellors’ Association of WA to increase the number of skilled financial counsellors.
To make this possible, $1.5 million in new funding has been made available for traineeships and diploma scholarships, to grow the financial counselling workforce.
A further $180,000 will go to improving the skills of existing financial counsellors.
This funding will help respond to both the unmet demand for financial counselling and increasingly complex client issues.
A further $1.5 million will deliver financial counselling services in regional areas for a further two years.
Source: WA Government