BUDGET 2014: Hopes fade for financial services funding

Financial services cut in budget

WARY: Staff wait for Bendigo Family & Financial Service's future to be confirmed. Picture: PETER WEAVING

WARY: Staff wait for Bendigo Family & Financial Service's future to be confirmed. Picture: PETER WEAVING

A BENDIGO community service will confirm on Wednesday whether its funding will cease.

Bendigo Family & Financial Service was expected to lose federal funding in the budget.

A Commission of Audit report the federal government released last week recommended 100-per-cent cuts to funding of financial services programs across the country.

Bendigo Family & Financial Services provides counselling, emergency relief, small loans and financial management training to those struggling because of lost hours at work, sickness, or unmanageable debt.

We’ll have clearer understanding after the meeting tomorrow... - Jenny Elvey

General manager Jenny Elvey said on Tuesday night that the service's future was unclear.

"ER Victoria, the peak body for emergency relief, will meet with the Department of Social Services tomorrow morning," Ms Elvey said.

"They will also find out about financial counselling," she said.

"We’ll have clearer understanding after the meeting tomorrow of the future of that funding."

But Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters was confident the service would lose its federal money, along with Bendigo's Youth Connect education and employment service.

"Those projects and many others will not be funded," she said. 

"There is no new funding or continuing funding for these vital community-based services."

Meanwhile, Kangaroo Flat Aquatic Centre, Bendigo Tennis Centre and Bendigo Airport missed out in the budget.

But Ms Chesters said there was still hope for future funding rounds.

"The tennis centre could qualify for the Community Grants Program, established to fund election commitments and uncontracted former federal government projects," she said.

Both the tennis and aquatic centres could also receive money from a 2015 National Stronger Regional Fund, set aside for regional development projects.

Bendigo Tennis Association president Leon Retallick said he was confident about securing funding from local, state and federal governments for a tennis centre upgrade.

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