Ju­lat­ten com­mu­nity hit by fund­ing cut

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

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 ju­lat­tencc@conxx.com.

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