Youth ser­vice un­der re­view

Hills Gazette - - NEWS - Lynn Gri­er­son

MUN­DAR­ING coun­cil­lors have called for more in­for­ma­tion be­fore award­ing a mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar con­tract for youth ser­vices.

Coun­cil­lors knocked back a rec­om­men­da­tion to award the $216,200 three-year con­tract to Mer­cyCare at this week’s coun­cil meet­ing, favour­ing an al­ter­na­tive pro­posal from Cr Ja­son Rus­sell.

The youngest mem­ber of the coun­cil asked chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Jonathan Throssell to out­line in a re­port how the en­dorsed youth model would be pro­vided, with op­tions to min­imise staffing and ad­min­is­tra­tion costs.

He also sug­gested the Shire re­port on the es­tab­lish­ment of a youth ser­vice com­mit­tee to seek com­mu­nity in­put on youth ser­vices on an on-go­ing ba­sis.

Cr Rus­sell (20) cham­pi­oned a con­tem­po­rary youth ser­vice for the Shire as part of his elec­tion cam­paign last year.

“I be­lieve coun­cil is re­spond­ing to the com­mu­nity’s de­sire for value-for-money and high qual­ity ser­vice de­liv­ery,” he said.

“By com­mis­sion­ing a re­port into a youth ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee (YAC), coun­cil is tak­ing a ma­jor step in the right di­rec­tion.”

Shire Pres­i­dent John Daw sup­ported Cr Rus­sell’s call for a mod­ern-day youth ser­vice.

“It is fan­tas­tic to have our most youth­ful coun­cil mem­ber lead­ing on youth ser­vices for the Shire and set­ting a very high stan­dard of de­bate and con­vinc­ing coun­cil to pause and re­assess its pri­or­i­ties for youth ser­vice de­liv­ery by the Shire,” he said.

Com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion on youth ser­vices last year showed sup­port for im­proved ac­cess to youth ser­vices in ar­eas closer to Mun­dar­ing and in the outer eastern suburbs.

White­lion Youth Agency and Rise also sub­mit­ted ten­ders to op­er­ate the Shire’s youth ser­vices.

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