THE Gingin Community Resource Centre will receive its full amount of funding after the McGowan Government’s decision to not cut funding to the state’s centres.
Earlier this year Opposition Regional Development spokesman Jim Chown said the government had reduced annual funding for the 105 community resource centres (CRCs) in regional and remote communities from $56 million to $42m from June this year.
At the time Mr Chown said the cuts would spell the end for some smaller CRCs, which were in many instances the only way some people could access government services in their community.
But on Friday, August 10 Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said funding for CRCs would continue at the full $13 million a year.
She said the government had listened to regional community concerns about the future of CRCs and would continue to fully fund each centre.
Ms MacTiernan said the review of the community resource centre program had highlighted some areas that could be improved.
The traineeship component of the CRC program will be strengthened to ensure centres are working with local businesses and local governments to get the best outcomes for their trainees and will be made available to regional areas which do not have CRCs.
“We want to see the CRC program strengthened, with a real focus on getting the most out of the traineeship program to drive training opportunities across regional WA,’’ she said.
Also auditing processes will be strengthened to ensure Community Resource Centres are delivering the best outcomes for their communities.
Mr Chown said while regional WA would welcome the CRC reversal it was only one small step regarding the cutting of frontline services to regional education.
“The Minister and the Premier have obviously decided to step back from their draconian attack on CRCs,” he said.
“The government also needs to listen to the ever-growing concern throughout regional WA about the cuts to Moora Residential College, the privatisation of camp schools and their money grab from the trust fund which supports agricultural colleges,’’ he said.
Opposition Education spokeswoman Donna Faragher also welcomed the decision to not cut CRC funding but said it must be followed up with an announcement to reverse the poorly thought out decision to close Moora Residential College and the other remaining cuts to public education.
Mrs Faragher said Moora and all of regional WA wanted the budget cut reversed.
She said Education Minister Sue Ellery should listen and take immediate action.
“The Minister’s other remaining outrageous budget cuts, including those impacting community kindergartens, Landsdale Farm School, Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre, agricultural colleges and camp schools, should also be reversed,’’ she said.