Labor welcomes the decision to guarantee funding for theBreastfeeding Helpline for a further 12 months.
The Breastfeeding Helpline, which is staffed seven days a week by trained, volunteer counsellors who answer up to 6,000 calls every month was facing closure on June 30 because of the chaos surrounding the Turnbull Government’s $800 million cuts to the Heath Flexible funds, which fund hundreds of organisations such as this.
The decision is a victory for the tens of thousands of Australian women who call the helpline every year, and the hundreds of nurses who volunteer their time to provide the support they need.
However, it’s painfully clear that the decision to give the Breastfeeding Helpline a one year rollover for the second year in a row is a political decision designed solely to get the Turnbull Government through the election.
Instead of giving the Helpline long term funding certainty the Breastfeeding Helpline will again be facing closure in June next year should the Turnbull Government be re-elected.
The Breastfeeding Helpline is an invaluable service for tens of thousands of Australian mums, run at extremely modest cost to taxpayers due to the fantastic work of hundreds of volunteer counsellors.
It is too important to be left as the political plaything of a government concerned only with its survival and the Turnbull Government must immediately guarantee long term funding to provide certainty for this vital service for Australian mums.