HELPING HAND: Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre executive officer Rebecca Woods says there is help available to residents of the Whitsundays.
HELPING HAND: Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre executive officer Rebecca Woods says there is help available to residents of the Whitsundays.

Ways Whitsunday residents can access assistance

WITH a range of grants available from both state and federal governments, the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre executive officer has provided some guidance for those needing immediate help as the region grapples with the effects of coronavirus.

The federal and state government have injected billions of dollars into the economy over the past few weeks to help businesses and individuals stay afloat.

Among these include allowances for job seekers and those who have lost their jobs, assistance for electricity and rent payments, support in childcare and early access to superannuation.

Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre executive officer Rebecca Woods said while in the process of applying for assistance, it was important residents kept communication lines open and asked for help when it’s needed.

“If it’s regarding electricity or rent or any type of payment and you’re struggling to make those payments, talk with your supplier or property manager and explain your circumstances, and where possible continue to make payments,” she said.

“All utilities and banks have hardship application processes, and if you do fall within hardship criteria by all means pick up the phone and ring them and ask them for that assistance while this is happening.”

Mrs Woods said in situations such as rental payments where residents owed $400 but could only pay $200, they should continue to pay as much as they could rather than stop their payments.

“Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed,” she said.

“If we all work together and keep communication lines open, we will all get through it a bit less stressed.”

The Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre will continue to provide emergency relief remotely over the course of the pandemic.

Residents in need of support can call the centre and assistance in the form of vouchers can be emailed through, meaning no physical contact is required throughout the process.

Ms Woods said this had been effective in maintaining much-needed relief while keeping her staff safe.

“People don’t have to travel to the centre, so they’re saving on fuel, but it also means they get the voucher automatically on their phone and don’t have to have physical card,” she said.

“We will continue to use that system as another option as people moving forward.”

The Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre can be contacted on 4946 7850.


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