Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders

NSW Nationals Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders has announced critical relief funding for a local organisation supporting vulnerable people in the local community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of $220,000 has been allocated to Orana Support Service to allow them to expand their programs to include migrants and temporary visa holders

“Orana Support Service provides vital services to some of our most vulnerable local community members, in some instances these may be temporary visa holders and in others they may be longer term migrants,” Mr Saunders said.

“I commend the work of all the staff and volunteers who have stepped up during these extremely difficult times to support our local community when we need it most.

“This funding is a vital boost and will ensure the delivery of essential services and emergency relief support.”

Orana Support Service chief executive officer Tina Reynolds said the funding will allow the organisation to incorporate new assistance for vulnerable members of the community.

“A lot of the work we have done previously has centred around crisis accommodation or homelessness, and that is what our current funding is centred around, but this very welcomed funding will give us the capability to help the increasing migrant population of our region,” she said.

“This kind of work has grown by 11 per cent since the same time last year, and it is largely based around providing food and somewhere to live while people get some certainty in their lives.”

On top of this round of funding, the NSW Nationals in the state government have distributed an additional $2 million immediate grants to organisations supporting asylum seekers during the pandemic this financial year.