Men’s sheds in funding difficulty
Men’s sheds across WA are facing financial headaches because of what they claim is a lack of ownership or consistent funding from the State Government.
For the past year, Men’s Sheds of WA says it has been surviving off three to six-month funding agreements through the Department of Communities, with the latest due to expire in December.
MSWA chairman Trevor Taylor said the lack of funding certainty made it difficult to service the 170-odd sheds across the State.
“We have put submissions into the Government a number of times to show we do stuff on behalf of about seven or eight departments,” he said. “Nobody wants to take claim or responsibility for it.”
Funding was previously secured through the Department of Health and the association believes it is best placed to fund it into the future.
Health Minister Roger Cook said a men’s health and wellbeing policy was being developed.
“Consultation is currently being undertaken with Men’s Shed WA, who are members of the policy reference group,” he said.
“The Department of Communities currently has a grant provided to MSWA. In addition, the organisation received several sponsorships for the delivery of their annual conference and a number of local sheds gain funding through the McGowan Government Local Projects Local Jobs initiative.”
WA Greens MLC Alison Xamon said men’s sheds were facing a funding crisis because they did not fit neatly into a government silo.
“Men’s Sheds of WA became another victim of the Department of Health’s funding cuts for inexplicably no longer meeting the department’s strategic direction, so its only State Government funding source is now from the DLGSCI,” she said.
Department of Communities commissioning and sector engagement acting assistant director general Jacqui Herring said grants to Men’s Shed WA had totalled $450,000 to date.
Greens MLC Alison Xamon has raised funding concerns from Men’s Sheds of WA in State Parliament.