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    Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    Thriving Communities funding boosts Cairns neighbourhood centre relief program

    Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    Thursday, March 21, 2019

    Thriving Communities funding boosts Cairns neighbourhood centre relief program

    Cairns residents in need of food relief are benefitting from a Palaszczuk Government grant given to the Marlin Coast Neighbourhood Centre.

    The centre received $7896 under the Thriving Queensland Communities grant program last year to expand their food relief program.

    Minister for Communities Coralee O’Rourke today (21 March) visited the Marlin Coast Neighbourhood Centre to see how the funding had benefitted the local community.

    “With this funding, the Marlin Coast Neighbourhood Centre was able to purchase and install two new fridges and an upright freezer to store fresh and frozen food as part of their service delivery to vulnerable community members who may be find it hard to make ends meet or experiencing hardship,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

    “The centre also has plans to purchase and install a generator to safeguard against food spoilage in the event of a power outage.

    “This funding has provided an invaluable addition to the centre’s pantry food which is distributed through emergency food parcels.”

    The Marlin Coast Neighbourhood Centre works in partnership with OzHarvest and Anglicare Food Bank to provide their Emergency Relief Food Security program.

    Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said there has been a significant increase in demand for food relief services.

    “Centre statistics indicate there has been a significant increase in requests and enquiries about emergency relief, food parcels and financial counselling,” Mr Crawford said.

    “Community members accessing the emergency relief program also have an opportunity to be referred to the UnitingCare outreach financial counselling service available at the centre.

    “They can also be linked to other services and activities available at the centre, allowing them engage with the community and reduce social isolation.”

    The Marlin Coast Neighbourhood Centre is one of 124 neighbourhood centres funded by the Queensland Government and one of 75 to receive funding through the Thriving Queensland Communities grants program.

    Mrs O’Rourke said supporting neighbourhood centres was an example of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to creating thriving communities.

    “We want to create thriving communities where people, regardless of their personal circumstances, are able to participate in their communities, be resilient and enjoy social and economic wellbeing,” she said.

    The next round of Thriving Queensland Communities grants will be open to government-funded neighbourhood and community centres next month.

    For more information on the Palaszczuk Government’s Thriving Communities grant program, visit https://www.communities.qld.gov.au/community/thriving-queensland-communities-grants.

    ENDS

    Media Contact: Benjamin Mulcahy 0419 562 389