The value of community centres recognised

Western Australian Regional Development Minister, Alannah MacTiernan, has announced a decision to reinstates $13 million in funding for 105 regional community centres across the State.

A vital resource for regional communities, the decision to retain the centres is the result of a united effort by the Local Government sector.

Western Australia Local Government Association (WALGA) President, Lynne Craigie, has applauded the decision to reinstate the funding.

Councillor Craigie said the Minister should be recognised for genuinely considering the representations made by WALGA and Local Governments to retain the funding.

Located throughout WA, Community Resource Centres support local social and economic activity with 395 staff and more than 1000 volunteers.

Cr Craigie said, “It is understandable that when faced with the challenge of budget repair the State Government would look at making savings across programs.

“It was unfortunate that the Community Resource Centres were caught up in this process but fortunate that the Minister was prepared to listen to the community and reverse the decision.

“It takes decisive leadership to terminate a program but even stronger leadership to genuinely consider the arguments from stakeholders and then change your position.”

Cr Craigie said WALGA and individual Local Governments had made strong representations to the Minister to retain the centres as they provided vital community support.

She said Community Resource Centres were critical in helping deliver the State Government’s focus on traineeships and creating jobs in regional WA.

“The decision by the Minister to consult with the sector in a meaningful way is, I believe, a direct consequence of the State Government’s partnership agreement with the Local Government sector and is a welcome change to addressing critical issues,” Cr Craigie said.