Yarnup needs more than a pat on the back
WHILE last week’s unanimous vote by Dubbo Regional Council to verbally support Lifeline Central West’s pilot Yarnup Confidential program was a positive gesture, it’s cold hard cash that the program needs to secure its future.
Yarnup Confidential has been designed to address Aboriginal/ regional suicide, Domestic Violence and related issues in the Central and Western regions of NSW.
The DRC area has one of the state’s highest rates of Domestic Violence – twice the state average – and further west it’s nine times higher.
Four out of five suicides are men and suicide in regional areas occurs at three times the rate of those in metropolitan areas.
“We have a massive endemic that is sweeping our nation at the moment when it comes to mental health. [Lifeline Central West has] a program they need support for. It’s the right thing we should do. This is something that’s desperately needed. We need to get behind this as much as we can,” mayor Ben Shields said.
Without any debate from councillors, the minute was unanimously carried.
However, Lifeline Central West’s lobbying for financial support from state and federal governments since 2015 has fallen on deaf ears.
“Current models are failing. Closing the Gap is failing and has done year on year since its inception,” Lifeline Central West executive A Mayoral Minute to undertake steps to transfer ownership of part of Theresa Maliphant Park to NSW Health to enable the construction of additional free car parking at Dubbo Hospital was presented by Mayor Ben Shields to the October meeting of Council.
An amendment by Councillor Stephen Lawrence proposing Council make formal representations to the State Government to build a multi-storey car park offering free parking was adopted. Under the amendment, if that is unsuccessful, Council will continue with its plan to provide NSW Health with land suitable for more free parking. “PARENTS sitting back looking at their mobile phones, on the grass, not actually actively supervising their kids is one of our biggest issues,” Dubbo Aquatic and Leisure Centre manager Nick Wilson told Dubbo director Alex Ferguson said. “All the people that are meant to be leading the charge in terms of equality and the performance of our society have got to buy into this and say, we need to do more.
“If all the silos of support that exist, the funding, the NGOS and everything else, if it was working, then why haven’t we fixed the problem?
“What we’ve said is there’s a need for recalibrating or reorganising the structure that has outreach as the main component,
“We really pushing our Keep Watch, get in and participate campaigns. We’ve got rid of our spectator fare so all adults pay $5.
“We’ve found more parents are getting in. Instead of saving their $3, they’re thinking they’ve got to pay $5 so they may as well jump in the water. To me it’s having a positive effect,” he said. CHANGES to council ticketing policies effecting ticket prices at the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre have been adopted in favour of reduced ticket pricing for community, notfor-profit, school and charity groups.
All tickets must be sold through the DRTCC box office which charges a booking fee of $5.50 per ticket and $1 per complimentary ticket.
In the 2018/2019 revenue (and it must be) supported by telephony because if somebody is in danger, they must have the confidence that they can make a communication to save their lives or the circumstances of their children.
“We have to get away from the black and white divide which is crucial to actually making any headway. There are issues of role models and leadership of Aboriginal communities. “We’ve employed an Aboriginal lady in Dubbo. She now has her qualification
policy there has been an amendment for scaled booking fees for amateur performance groups.
Where the ticket price is $0-$30 the booking fee per ticket will be $2.50, scaled up to tickets priced over $51, attracting a $4 fee. LOCAL Government NSW president Linda Scott has said one of the most significant problems faced by councils in NSW is cost shifting driven by State Government policies which puts the onus on ratepayers for infrastructure and services.
“One of the most appalling examples of cost shifting is the NSW Government’s waste levy, which increased councils’ costs by 44 per cent over a two-year period,” she said.
“Last year, the NSW Government collected a total of $727 million in waste levies from councils, business and individuals. $300 million is collected from councils alone, and of this just 18 per cent is returned to local government to actually manage waste,” she said. as both a financial and gambling councillor. So it can be done. We’re doing it now. We’re already doing Indigenous free two-day DV courses out in the community, Wilcannia, etc. We’re accredited by the Department of Social Security in Canberra to do that, one of the very few organisations that are.
“We’re actually doing these things, nothing is a mystery to us, but we can’t do it without some financial push,” he said.
A draft budget for Yarnup proposes jobs for 118 Indigenous people.
In 2015, Mr Ferguson approached the Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion with details on Yarnup.
“The Yarnup Confidential strategy is based on the full employment and training of Aboriginal staff, thereby addressing the cultural divide. Seventy per cent of the annual funding will be applied to employees and training costs,” Mr Ferguson said.
“What Yarnup Confidential addresses is the reality that if the community wants to move away from the carnage impacting the young and middle ages alike, action will have to move from the plethora or research to the lived experience and implementation of a unified strategy on the ground,” he said.
Mid last month, the NSW Government’s Mental Health Commission released its $90 million Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention in NSW 2018-2023.
It states an intention to “invest in a flexible program that includes gatekeeper training and community-led awareness campaigns to support specific priority population including, but not limited to, rural and remote residents, young people, Aboriginal communities... and other populations according to local needs.”
Yarnup Confidential is seeking approximately $10 million to support the Central and Western Regions of NSW.
z If you, or someone you know needs assistance phone Lifeline Central West on 131114.
Dale Bonham is a financial and gambling counsellor with Lifeline Central West. The Yarnup Confidential program would see many more Indigenous counsellors working in the region. PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS