General News — 18 March 2014

The Royal Flying Doctor Service says it is hoping some of the Federal Government’s new drought package is spent on retaining mental health programs in remote areas.

The Government announced last month more than $10 million of its package would be spent on social and mental health services.bigstockphoto_Farmer_Moving_Sheep_4199952

The service’s Anita Hansen says it is essential that money is spent on the right programs.

“Ten point seven million dollars is not a lot of money in the terms of the whole of Australia, mainly in New South Wales and Queensland in this instance, so how we spend that is actually really important and it is very needed in these communities – the impact of the drought has been significant,” she said.

She says it is still waiting to hear from the Federal Government about what exactly qualifies for the funding.

“We have a few programs running in western Queensland, particularly, in relation to mental health in those rural and remote areas but we are unclear as to yet which of these programs are included in the drought funding,” she said.

“We are still waiting to clearly hear from the Federal Government about what is actually included in those existing services funded through that program and which will be funded through different programs.”

This article first appeared on ‘ABC’ on 17 March 2014.


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