At a time when Australia has been experiencing widespread and devastating flooding in multiple states, the Albanese Government has chosen to rip funding supporting crucial frontline workers in the electorate of Parkes.
The Coalition Government backed in our essential first responders by providing $10 million over two years to charity organisation Fortem Australia, for essential mental health and wellbeing support for those assisting during natural disasters.
But in Labor’s first Budget they have ripped $8 million in funding from the organisation, which means they are unable to open planned services and outreach programs in Dubbo.
Labor is ripping money from regional Australia, just like they did with the Building Better Regions Fund.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton is calling on Labor to urgently reverse this funding cut.
“The Coalition supports our first responders, who perform a vital role in the community, supporting vulnerable people in urgent need, such as during bushfires or floods,” said Mr Coulton.
“First responders work in highly challenging and often dire conditions, they are regularly exposed to traumatic experiences, face long hours under constant pressure, and are required to make critical decisions with a moment’s notice.
“PTSD is one of the most prevalent injuries suffered by first responders working in challenging and dangerous situations – ensuring they’re funded for wellbeing programs will help our communities cope during disasters.”
Ripping $8 million in emergency personnel wellbeing and mental health program funding from the recent Budget shows Labor is not prioritising the mental health and wellbeing of those front-line personnel who are out there providing emergency support to their communities during a disaster.
The Coalition Government funded Fortem – an experienced organisation – with $10 million to support the mental health and wellbeing of natural disaster responders following their successful delivery of a similar program by competitive tender after the Black Summer Bushfires.
Fortem programs give first responders the tools they need to be healthier, more resilient, and better equipped to cope with the challenges that come with working in natural disaster zones.
Only the Coalition will ensure strong support for our law enforcement agencies and emergency services personnel to keep Australians safe.