Men’s sheds in fund­ing dif­fi­culty

North West Telegraph - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

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.

Pic­ture: Iain Gille­spie

Greens MLC Ali­son Xa­mon has raised fund­ing con­cerns from Men’s Sheds of WA in State Par­lia­ment.

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