Anti-gambling initiatives given funding boost

Wollongong will soon receive new community resources to support families affected by problem gambling, thanks to a federal government funding boost.

Illawarra Legal Centre will be one of 50 community agencies across the country to receive special financial counsellors as part of a $22.6 million anti-gambling boost from Canberra.

The Warrawong-based organisation has received funding for a counsellor specifically to help family related gambling debt. The new counsellor will liaise with gaming venues, run community outreach programs and help connect problem gamblers with necessary services.

MORE: The new Illawarra gambling addict

“They will be going out in the community and working directly with parts of the community related to problem gambling,” Illawarra Legal Centre co-ordinator Truda Gray said. “It allows us to do the legwork ourselves.”

Announced last week by Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and Minister for Community Services, Julie Collins, the Illawarra is one of 17 NSW regions successful in being granted one of the new positions.

The new counsellor would join the legal centre’s existing team of three financial counsellors but would be solely focused on gambling issues related to families.

“It’s the type of debt that needs a wider support and we need work in the community to support people who have this type of debt,” Ms Gray said.

Other counsellors across Australia will find new homes within Anglicare, Mission Australia and Lifeline, among others.

For more information, contact Illawarra Legal Centre on 4276 1939.

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