Assistance available for women in need
15 March 2017
Safe, fair and affordable loans are available for women on low incomes in need of financial assistance thanks to the No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) through Women’s Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE).
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan recently met with Executive Director Suzie Reid and Microfinance Officer Karen O’Connor to find out more about what support the service was offering women in the north east.
“Women’s Health Goulburn North East is a wonderful resource for women in our region, “Ms Ryan said.
“In addition to information, support and resources on health, safety, parenthood and family violence, WHGNE facilitates NILS which provides women on low incomes with a safe way of getting credit.
“Loans are available up to $1,200 and can be used for essential goods and services such as fridges, washing machines and medical procedures.
“Repayments are set up over the next 12 to 18 months at an amount that the individual can afford.”
Ms Ryan commended the work of WHGNE and said the organisation was helping to address the high level of social disadvantage in the Goulburn North East region.
“According to 2011 Census data, in Greater Shepparton the number of lone female parents is 2,256, well above the Hume average of 754.6,” Ms Ryan said.
“For Benalla that number is 502 and in Strathbogie, 302.
“Low income is also a major issue in these areas with 55.1 per cent of females in Strathbogie earning below the minimum weekly wage of between $0 to $599.
“Benalla is little better with 54.9 per cent and Greater Shepparton sits just above that at 47.7 per cent.
“WHGNE is making admirable inroads helping disadvantaged women find support and services and I commend their work.
“I encourage any women who need assistance to consider making contact with WHGNE.”
Applicants for NILS must have a Health Care Card and an annual income of less than $45,000 a year after tax. Loans cannot be used for cash, bond, rent arrears, debt consolidation, holidays or bills.
Application forms are available at Steph Ryan MP’s office at 25 Bridge Street, Benalla or by emailing [email protected].