McGowan cuts CRC funding

The Gingin District Community Resource Centre helps coordinate the drivers and passengers for the Gingin Community Car, which takes residents to medical appointments.

THE Gingin District Community Resource Centre may not be able to provide residents with access to some health, welfare and education services after the McGowan Government’s cuts to funding.

The Opposition Royalties for Regions 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 $42 million from June this year.

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.

“These centres and the people that staff them, often in a voluntary capacity, are literally a lifeline for many people in communities where government services have no other footprint,” he said.

“The funding cuts to CRCs will mean that access to essential services such as suicide prevention, child protection and domestic violence support may no longer be delivered.

“In addition to connecting people with government services, the CRCs in many remote communities are involved in almost every aspect of community life, including offering training and support to local businesses, organising social and tourism events and providing public internet access and printing services.

“This is another rushed and short-sighted decision by this out-of-touch McGowan Government that will literally gut some communities and put some of regional WA’s most vulnerable and marginalised people at risk, all so the Premier can fund his $5 billion of city-centric election commitments.”

Mr Chown said Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan had joined Education Minister Sue Ellery in her willingness to sacrifice communities and families in the bush.

“Unlike them, I have engaged with the community, I care about the community and I will fight for the community.

“I call on the McGowan Government to reconsider this decision and, like their reversal on their cuts to School of the Air, reinstate funding to 105 CRCs across regional WA.”