WA Recovery: Supporting vulnerable communities

Supporting our local communities and vulnerable people is key to regrouping and preparing for the road ahead, particularly as the impact of the pandemic on the wellbeing of Western Australians is still emerging.

Last updated: 26 July 2020 at 9.30am

Supporting our most affected

Couple looking at finances

To support those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are investing:

  • $115.8 million to boost the Energy Assistance Payment by $305.25 for eligible customers at 30 September 2020
  • $28.1 million for victims of family and domestic violence, by expanding refuges, strengthening response teams and increasing outreach workers across WA
  • $25 million to create a 16-bed mental health, alcohol and other drugs homelessness service for people aged 16 to 24 
  • $6.8 million to increase counsellors and support staff across WA, and funding for traineeships and scholarships to help people cope with financial pressures
  • $10 million for essential equipment and home modifications to support Western Australians with disability or medical conditions, enhancing their independence and safety, and helping carers in their roles
  • more than $7 million for people experiencing homelessness by giving funding certainty to not-for-profit service providers to provide wraparound services and immediate support to rough sleepers. This complements WA’s first supported housing facility ‘Common Ground’, which will also be built near the Perth CBD.

Households experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic will not have their power or water disconnected, and Synergy and Horizon Power will not charge customers interest on deferred bill payments.

You can apply for interest-free payment arrangements, and for late payment penalties to be waived for transfer duty, landholder duty, vehicle licence duty and land tax.

Case study: Demand for financial counselling is expected to rise dramatically.

Supporting women

Women in kitchen preparing food

We have committed $62 million for a TAFE and training sector recovery package. This will expand the Lower Fees, Local Skills initiative to incorporate female-dominated industry courses, such as mental health, disability services, early childhood education, and care and community services.

To help increase employment opportunities for vulnerable women, we will also:

  • introduce a job retraining scheme for women in refuges and more financial support for family and domestic violence services
  • launch Stronger Together: WA’s Plan for Gender Equality.

Case study: Find out how a COVID-19 Relief Fund grant will support the Lucy Saw Centre.

Ensuring a secure future for remote Aboriginal communities

Aboriginal tour guide talking to campers

 We will support Aboriginal communities through:

  • negotiating significant native title agreements that offer economic stimulus opportunities through land transfers, joint conservation and heritage management
  • facilitating an Aboriginal family-led pilot program to address the over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care and child protection
  • building the Aboriginal community-controlled sector and workers’ skills through training and employment
  • helping the community to access vital services, such as renal and optical health services
  • expanding the WA Elder Abuse Helpline, provided by Advocare, with longer operating hours and a wider range of services
  • creating an Aboriginal Community Connectors Program to provide transport and personal support services to improve individual and community safety in 11 locations
  • delivering an Aboriginal governance and leadership development program to build Aboriginal enterprises and support Aboriginal leadership in the Kimberley and Pilbara
  • supporting the Aboriginal Ranger Program and improving government contracting processes to provide local jobs.

Case study: An Australia-first initiative gives campers the chance to meet and mix with Aboriginal custodians, with the proceeds of their visit generating income and jobs for local people.

Page reviewed 1 October 2020