Julatten community hit by funding cut
THE Julatten Community Centre has vowed to continue providing a full range of services despite a government warning $15,000 will be cut from its funding.
“The Federal Government said it would cut its 50 per cent funding for the limited hours child care program from the beginning of this financial year, but the Office of Early Childhood Education and Care (OECEC) didn’t inform us until December 2010," JCC Coordinator Tracy Priday said.
"While the Queensland Government has promised to cover the shortfall until the end of June, the OECEC have asked the Federal Government to reinstate the funding immediately, but the Federal Government has not responded as yet.
"We will continue to provide the current level of service as long as we can, we are extremely resourceful and the centre already currently raises about $15,000 a year in its own fundraising activities.”
The centre offers limited hours child care two days a week, as a complement to the kindergarden and outside school hours care services, but without the federal funding the centre may have to cut back, leaving gaps in the schedule.
"This is the only childcare service for children under the age of three in the area between Port Douglas and Mareeba," Ms Priday said.
"While currently we don’t have a lot of children using the service currently, about seven on average, we have provision to care for 14.
"Local families depend on the service and they don’t have many alternatives."
Another priority for the centre’s new management committee, elected last week, is establishing a Julatten Disaster Management Group.
In the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi, some community members became concerned they were unprepared for the worst.
"Geraghty Park is the official evacuation point for Julatten," JCC community support worker Cheryl Clayton said.
"However, it is considered primarily for the use of people from the coast who need to evacuate due to storm surge and tsunamis."
An initial meeting is scheduled for 6.30pm on May 16 at the community centre, bringing together the Tablelands Regional Council, the local school and the fire brigade to discuss options for evacuation centres. For more information, contact Ms Clayton on email@example.com.