CRCs stressed as vi­tal amid fund cut plan

North West Telegraph - - Telegraph News - Sophia Con­stan­tine

The Na­tion­als Mem­ber for North West Cen­tral has crit­i­cised the La­bor Gov­ern­ment for its plans to re­duce fund­ing for com­mu­nity re­source cen­tres in re­gional WA by al­most 40 per cent.

Vince Cata­nia’s com­ments come af­ter premier Mark McGowan an­nounced cuts to Roy­al­ties for Re­gions fund­ing in the State Bud­get as part of La­bor’s review of all R4R projects.

Mar­ble Bar and Nul­lagine are two of 100 ru­ral hubs that pro­vide train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion ser­vices to peo­ple in re­gional ar­eas and pro­vide ac­cess to es­sen­tial ser­vices such as Cen­tre­link and Medi­care.

Mr Cata­nia said the move could leave re­gional com­mu­ni­ties fac­ing a huge gap in in the de­liv­ery of vi­tal ser­vices.

“Our CRC net­work is vi­tally im­por­tant to our el­derly cit­i­zens and too many coun­try res­i­dents that find them­selves in a low so­cio-eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment that need help to ac­cess State and Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment ser­vices,” he said.

He said the cen­tres were “more than just a place to get in­ter­net ac­cess”. “Ev­ery day we see an­other project, ser­vice or pro­gram that ben­e­fits the peo­ple of my elec­torate thrown on the scrap,” Mr Cata­nia said.

“Un­for­tu­nately, it’s the com­mu­ni­ties of re­gional WA that are be­ing forced to pay a heav­ier price in higher taxes, more charges and re­duced ser­vices.”

The board of Linkwest has also called on the State Gov­ern­ment to con­duct an in­de­pen­dent review into the so­cial im­pact of the or­gan­i­sa­tions and eval­u­ate the po­ten­tial risks faced by re­gional com­mu­ni­ties.

Pic­ture: Dean Hatwell

The official open­ing of Mar­ble Bar CRC in June, 2011.

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