CRCs stressed as vital amid fund cut plan

Sophia ConstantineNorth West Telegraph
The official opening of Marble Bar CRC in June, 2011.
Camera IconThe official opening of Marble Bar CRC in June, 2011. Credit: Picture: Dean Hatwell

The Nationals Member for North West Central has criticised the Labor Government for its plans to reduce funding for community resource centres in regional WA by almost 40 per cent.

Vince Catania’s comments come after premier Mark McGowan announced cuts to Royalties for Regions funding in the State Budget as part of Labor’s review of all R4R projects.

Marble Bar and Nullagine are two of 100 rural hubs that provide training and education services to people in regional areas and provide access to essential services such as Centrelink and Medicare.

Mr Catania said the move could leave regional communities facing a huge gap in in the delivery of vital services.

“Our CRC network is vitally important to our elderly citizens and too many country residents that find themselves in a low socio-economic environment that need help to access State and Federal Government services,” he said.

He said the centres were “more than just a place to get internet access”. “Every day we see another project, service or program that benefits the people of my electorate thrown on the scrap,” Mr Catania said.

“Unfortunately, it’s the communities of regional WA that are being forced to pay a heavier price in higher taxes, more charges and reduced services.”

The board of Linkwest has also called on the State Government to conduct an independent review into the social impact of the organisations and evaluate the potential risks faced by regional communities.

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