Housing Plus receives funding for Orange Crisis Centre from Coalition's Building Better Regions Fund

Media Release

FN123/2017

02 August 2017

Joint release with:

Andrew Gee MP

Federal Member for Calare

  • Orange Crisis Centre for Women and Children will become reality, winning $588,800 from the Building Better Regions Fund 
  • Orange Crisis Centre for Women and Children beat hundreds of others from around Australia to win funding

Housing Plus has won funding through the Coalition Government's Building Better Regions Fund, Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee announced today.

Mr Gee said Housing Plus would receive $588,800 through the Coalition's Building Better Regions Fund, which was the full amount requested, ensuring the project will proceed.

“The Orange Crisis Centre will provide accommodation and intensive case management for women and children who are escaping domestic and family violence within the Canobolas Local Area Command," Mr Gee said.

"We've fought long and hard for this project and it's so great to see this funding delivered.

"The Building Better Regions Fund received more than 500 applications and ours was one of about 100 which were approved across Australia.

"I congratulate Housing Plus and look forward to working with them to deliver benefits to the community,” Mr Gee added.

“Orange has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in NSW.

“Although when I was the State Member for Orange we were able to secure funding for three crisis accommodation houses, what we really needed in the long term was a purpose built, standalone refuge.

At the moment the only option for women and children needing refuge is to go to a neighbouring town, which is totally unworkable with children, especially when they are at school.

“This refuge is going to make a real difference in the lives of people who are going to need it when they are at their most vulnerable.

“I said in my inaugural speech to the Australian Parliament that it was a key issue I wanted addressed and I'm delighted we were able to make this funding a reality.

“Fundraising for this project has been a true community effort and I'd like to thank everyone in the area who has made a contribution to date.” Mr Gee added.

CEO of Housing Plus, David Fisher said they are delighted to receive the funding which makes the establishment of a much needed crisis centre in Orange a reality.

“It may surprise many that the rates of domestic assault in the Canobolas Local Area Command is nearly double the NSW state average and that Orange is the only regional town of its size in Western region without a crisis centre,” Mr Fisher said.

“What that means is that those victims determined by the NSW Police as at serious threat of further injury or death must leave family, friends, their jobs and take their children from school to find a safe and secure place.

“We are overwhelmed by the support that individuals, community groups, schools and businesses have given to date and I would encourage anyone, group or employer interested in donating to get in touch.” Mr Fisher added.

Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said she created the Building Better Regions Fund to help build strong communities for decades to come.

"I aim to help build the kinds of regional communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, and those kinds of communities protect the vulnerable," Minister Nash said.

“After a competitive merit-based selection process, there are always those who were not successful and are naturally disappointed. We know this and we've got dedicated staff in the Department of Industry to give tailored feedback to each unsuccessful applicant to help improve those applications for next time. They can be contacted on bbrffeedback@industry.gov.au."

Minister Nash said she expected to open another round of BBRF before the end of the year.

Minister Nash will announce the successful applicants for funding under the BBRF's Community Investments Stream—for projects designed to support a range of local capability-building activities—in the coming months.

More information about the Building Better Regions Fund is available at: www.business.gov.au/bbrf.