Member for Sydney, Clover Moore MP, has welcomed the $10 million budget boost for 400 neighbourhood centres, which ends a 20 year funding drought.
“These services help vulnerable and struggling groups, such as unemployed, homeless and mentally ill people. They work with women fleeing domestic violence, refugees, socially isolated people, young/single struggling parents, people with a disability and frail aged people, said Ms Moore.
“Community strengthening and development services such as Neighbourhood Centres will use these funds to better respond to community needs.
“I have been supporting the ongoing campaign to increase grants to cover increased costs and welcome this “catch up” for the Community Service Grants Program (CSGP). Funding has fallen behind since 1988/9, and a 2007 Ernst and Young report to NSW Treasury argued for increased funding over three years. This much needed funding takes the program form $28 to $38 million, and is an important recognition of the vital role of community work.
“These centres grow from their community, many rely on volunteers and in-kind support, and they build vibrant and resilient communities”, said Ms Moore.
Inner city Centres include:
Holdsworth Street Community Centre in Woollahra;
Echo Neighbourhood Centre in Bondi Junction;
Kings Cross Community Centre;
Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre;
Walla Mulla Community Support in Woolloomooloo;
Newtown Neighbourhood Centre;
South Sydney Community Aid in Alexandria;
The Settlement in Redfern;
The Factory in Waterloo; and
The Harris Community Centre in Ultimo.
“The Government has recognised the importance of community work and will separate the 900 CSGP-funded services into two streams, based on the type of services they deliver, with. The peak body Local Community Services Association will help neighbourhood services transfer to a separate Community Builders program.
International research confirms that strong communities help children get ahead, and deal with health, emotional and behavioural concerns. (Edwards, B. (2005) Does it take a village? Neighbourhood influences on Australian children’s development in Family Matters, 72, 36-43.) Early intervention and prevention programs for children, young people and families will benefit from the $4.5 million Keep Them Safe funding announced in March.