Cost of Living Resources

Help with housing costs

Where to find help paying your mortgage

As interest rates have gone up, many people have struggled to keep up with their mortgage repayments.

If you have a mortgage, you can contact your bank or loan provider to ask whether there are lower rates available to you.

The National Debt Hotline also has useful advice on its website.

Where to find help paying your rent

If you receive financial support from Services Australia, you may be eligible for Rental Assistance as well.

Visit this website to find out whether you are eligible and how much you can receive.  

Other local support services may be able to assist you: 

Help with food and groceries

Helping to put food on your table

These are some local organisations offering emergency food relief and meals to families and individuals.

Albury Wodonga Regional FoodShare

Albury Wodonga Regional Foodshare distributes food and meals to agencies, schools and community groups within a 150km radius of Albury Wodonga.

They supply food and grocery items to smaller foodshares such as those in Benalla, Corryong and Shepparton. Use this website to find your closest food pick up point.

You can visit Albury Wodonga Regional Foodshare at 81 Wigg St, Wodonga or call them to find out where to pick up food near to you.

Open: Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 2.00pm.

Phone: 02 6059 5555

Wangaratta Carevan

Wangaratta Carevan offers free meals between 6-7pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at APEX Park, Wangaratta.  

Neighbourhood Houses and Community Centres  

Neighbourhood Houses often have food swap programs, free pantries, and community breakfasts available. 

  • Alexandra Community Hub – 38A Downey St, Alexandra  
  • Birallee Park Neighbourhood House – 39 Emerald Ave, West Wodonga 
  • Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House – 6 McMahons Rd, Kinglake 
  • Open Door Neighbourhood House – 61 Burke Street, Wangaratta 
  • Quercus Beechworth – 26 Ford St, Beechworth 
  • Violet Town Community House – 35 Cowslip Street, Violet Town 
  • Waminda Community House – 19 Ballintine Street, Benalla 

 This website has useful tips for minimising food waste to save money on your grocery bills.

Accessing healthcare

Cheaper medication

I was pleased to support federal legislation that made medications cheaper. Check whether your medication has been reduced here.

Bulk billing GPs 

Access to a GP who bulk bills can be a challenge in rural and regional areas. Visit this website to find a bulk billing GP near you. 

Reducing household energy costs

Household energy bill rebate

If you or a member of your household has a concession card, you may be eligible for a $250 reduction on your energy bill.  

The Victorian Government $250 rebate will be taken off your power bills automatically in 2023 and 2024, you do not need to apply for this payment. Click here for more information. 

Permanently lower power bills with renewable energy

Most Australian banks offer low-interest green loans to support people to make their homes more energy efficient. Some banks, such as the Commonwealth Bank, also offer no-interest green loans.

Green loans can be used to buy:

  • Solar panels and household batteries
  • Sustainable heating or cooling systems
  • Insulation and double-glazed windows
  • Energy-efficient appliances
  • Electric vehicles and electric vehicle chargers
  • Purchasing, building or refinancing an energy-efficient home

Cheaper mortgages are also offered by some major lenders for homes that meet high energy efficiency standards. Ask your bank about whether you are eligible.

You can find more information on how to reduce or manage your energy bills here.

Someone to talk to

In challenging times, financial counselling support is available to you.

Financial counsellors can provide free, independent and confidential counselling session to support people experiencing financial hardship, including managing energy bills.

National Debt Helpline – 1800 007 007

Read more about financial counselling services available or find a financial counsellor near you here.

My office is available to support you. Please send me an email at: or call or visit my office.