Relief Fund launched to support COVID-19 recovery

Relief Fund launched to support COVID-19 recovery

The Mount Barker District Council has launched a COVID-19 community relief fund supported by Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie and State Member for Kavel Dan Cregan.

Photo: Rod Cooper from Mount Barker Rotary, left, State Member for Kavel Dan Cregan, Rebekha, Mount Barker Mayor Ann Ferguson and Sean Hanes, manager of the Mount Barker Community Centre.

The fund will be seeded with a Council grant and personal donations from Rebekha and Dan Cregan.

A call has also been made to community and service organisations to contribute to the fund if they are able.

Dan said the project had been initiated after a meeting with Mayor Ann Ferguson and Ms Sharkie.

“All levels of Government are working to provide every economic support they possibly can, including through the unprecedented JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs and through $10,000 grants to small businesses,” Mr Cregan said.

“As local MPs, we are concerned that people are still falling through the cracks. Largescale government programs don’t always find the people who truly need support. This fund is designed to stay grass-roots and local.”

The Mount Barker Community Centre’s Community Pantry Scheme which provides food relief is expected to be a significant target for the fund’s support, as well as struggling small businesses.

“Small businesses in the district are often overlooked for government support and a meaningful proportion of the fund will be used to help Cafes and other hospitality businesses that are willing to produce cost-effective takeaway meals for local families,” Mayor Ferguson said.

Rebekha said the economic shock of the pandemic had left families and individuals vulnerable.   

“The COVID-19 pandemic is putting families, individuals and businesses in our district under extraordinary pressure at a time when our community was just beginning to recover from bushfire,” Ms Sharkie said.

Those wishing to make donations to the fund should contact the offices of Rebekha Sharkie MP or Dan Cregan MP or the Mount Barker District Council.