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Keep up to date with news that informs your practice and expands awareness of your client's rights.

Category: Government

Sunday 27 Jan 2019

FCRC Submission to the Royal Commission into Mental Health (Terms of Reference)

FCRC welcomes the establishment by the Victorian Government of the Royal Commission into Mental Health. The Royal Commission provides an opportunity to explore how best to address the complex array of factors affecting the mental health of Victorians and improve the overall mental health of our community through identifying good practices and a support infrastructure that can implement effective prevention and treatment strategies.

FCRC submits that the Terms of Reference should pay due regard to key mental health comorbidities as part of effective holistic response to risk factors and real client/patient needs, and in particular to financial vulnerability. The experience of financial counsellors is that financial difficulties, debt and vulnerability are an important and under-estimated comorbidity which practical and feasible assistance can reduce as a contributing factor to mental health harms.

Thursday 24 Jan 2019

Chair's report - January 2019

By: Julie Barrow

In alternating issues of the Devil's Advocate, the FCRC Chairperson contributes a message to the sector. This month, Julie Barrow discusses the importance of the recent Senate Inquiry into Credit and Financial Services in highlighting the for need for more financial counsellor positions.

Thursday 24 Jan 2019

Some excerpts from submissions to the Royal Commission and the Senate Inquiry

The new year is already well underway, but before things become too hectic, we wanted to take a moment to stop and recognise the valuable work of our FCs.

Fiona Guthrie at FCA shared with us a series of excerpts from various submissions into the recent Royal Commission and Senate Inquiry, which highlighted the strong support there is for the role of financial counselling.

The comments, from a variety of government bodies and regulators, demonstrates the value and need for the sector, and the importance of the work that financial counsellors undertake every day.

Tuesday 25 Sep 2018

Sandra Blake's week in Canberra

By: Sandra Blake

Financial Counsellor in Wodonga, Sandra Blake, recently spent a week in Canberra volunteering in Cathy McGowan's office, and meeting with MPs to raise her concerns about payday loan practices. Sandra shared her experiences below.

FCRC would like to acknowledge and thank Sandra for her committment to the legislation of the SACC bill to address the issues of payday lending and consumer leases.

Monday 25 Jun 2018

Responsible Lending Roadshow - Canberra

By: Eleanor Mason

Financial Counsellor for Salvation Army Geelong, Eleanor Mason, was one of 32 delegates from across Australia that converged on Canberra this month to meet with the decision-makers and lobby for fair finance and responsible lending reforms. Eleanor has shared her experience and her hopes of seeing positive changes as a result.

Tuesday 27 Feb 2018

Early Release of Superannuation - Joint Submission

On 8 December 2017 the Government announced that Treasury will conduct a review of the rules governing the early release of superannuation benefits, including for victims of crime compensation.

A joint submission – led by Financial Counselling Australia with the support of all states and territories, Choice and Consumer Action Law Centre – has been made in response to the consultation.

NOTE: Member-only content. For assistance, contact admin@fcrc.org.au.

Friday 16 Jun 2017

FCRC & CALC Submission to the Essential Services Commission

In response to the ESC's new draft decision for its Payment Difficulties Framework, FCRC and Consumer Action Law Centre have submitted their comments to the Commission.

Recognising many of the new measures the ESC has proposed in the revised framework, we are positive the ESC can achieve its objective of ensuring customers are disconnected as a last resort. We also make recommendations to ensure the framework can do more to support and protect vulnerable customers.

Tuesday 28 Mar 2017

Fair Finance National Day of Action

By: Tom McIntosh

On 27 March, FCRC and Victorian FCs joined members of other consumer advocacy groups for a "day of action" in Canberra, where the group lobbied for the speedy introduction of the recommendations from the SACC Review.

Tuesday 21 Feb 2017

Concerns with Centrelink’s Private Debt Collectors’ Accountability

By: Srikaran Nadador

Since the introduction of the government’s new automated debt recovery system in July 2016, there has been severe public backlash against the inaccurate system of data-matching which has affected over 170 000 people to date.

Financial Counsellors may be interested to know that Centrelink has enlisted private debt collectors, including Dun & Bradstreet and Recoveries Corp, to recover the alleged overpayments.

Thursday 12 Jan 2017

Centrelink automated notices

By: Tom McIntosh

FCRC has issued some advice for members on how they can assist clients who have received an auto-debt recovery notice from Centrelink. NOTE: Member-only content. For assistance, contact admin@fcrc.org.au.

Thursday 24 Nov 2016

Submission to the Essential Services Commission

Read our joint submission on the proposed safety net for energy consumers facing payment difficulty.