The Greens (WA) believe logic has prevailed with the WA Government’s announcement that it will continue current funding for the state’s 105 Community Resource Centres (CRCs).
Proposed cuts, announced in the 2017-18 state budget, would have reduced funding from $13 million to $8 million annually.
Protests against the move had been spearheaded by Greens (WA) MLC for the South West, Diane Evers, who said existing CRCs would find it difficult to continue the services they now offer, with shorter hours and less staff resulting from the cutbacks.
As recently as May this year, the Government had suggested a restructure of the CRCs, which would have created a two-tiered funding model that lowered funding for many centres by more than half. And despite the backlash from the communities and
Ms Evers, there was no provision of extra CRC funding in this year’s Budget.
But Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced in Albany today that the Government would continue to fully fund CRCs to the current $13 million per year, “ensuring CRCs can deliver important services to regional communities”.
Ms MacTiernan spent the past six months visiting CRCs in regional WA, as part of a review process to identify potential savings in the centres’ services.
Individual CRCs and the group’s representative body, Linkwest, lobbied the Government not to continue with the planned cuts.
“I am delighted at the news,” Ms Evers said.
“This government must invest in the regional areas by servicing the communities and looking after the natural environment. Ultimately, it’s about strengthening regional communities to make a meaningful rural life more achievable.
“The CRCs worked so hard to deliver the message about how essential they are, and they deserve full credit for the result.”