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The Abbott Government will invest $120,000 into the Malvern Special Needs Playgroup, ensuring this essential front line service continues to assist families with disabled children in Higgins, Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Scott Morrison and Member for Higgins, the Hon. Kelly O’Dwyer announced.


“Kelly O’Dwyer has been a strong and tireless advocate on behalf of the Malvern Special Needs Playgroup and I am pleased to be able to provide certainty for staff and management of the service, as well as those who rely on it,” Minister Morrison said.


“The Playgroup’s initial funding application under the New Way of Working for Grants scheme was not successful. However the service has now qualified for funding under a gap analysis of the grants scheme I initiated on becoming Minister late last year.


“I am grateful that Ms O’Dwyer highlighted the serious gap in the local community that would have resulted were the funding to have ceased, as initially decided by my Department,” Minister Morrison said.


Ms O’Dwyer said: “This is fantastic news for Higgins and follows strong representations I have made to Scott Morrison since he became Minister for Social Services. These funds will be delivered to ensure the Playgroup can continue to provide important local services for families in my electorate.


“The Playgroup has been providing twice weekly sessions with qualified therapists to families in Higgins for 35 years. This funding, to be delivered from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2017, will help families who require extra care and support.


“I am proud to have assisted in providing certainty for the Malvern Special Needs Playgroup and thank the staff and management of the service for assisting with representations to the Minister,” Ms O’Dwyer said.


The Commonwealth Government funding will be provided through the Department of Social Services’ New Way of Working for Grants scheme.


For more information on the Department of Social Services’ New Way of Working with Grants, go to www.dss.gov.au/grants