The Central Desert Regional Council has welcomed the recent announcement by the Commonwealth Government to increase funding for its community service programs.
Following the recent Indigenous Advancement Strategy funding announcements, there was a widespread call for reconsideration of those decisions. A subsequent review by the Commonwealth has resulted in increased funding for the Council and a commitment to longer terms.
Council Chief Executive Officer - Cathryn Hutton is delighted with the recent announcement. “It’s really encouraging to see that Minister Scullion has listened and acted. He has recognised the real cost of doing business in the bush and the need for some longer term planning” Ms Hutton said.
The Central Desert Regional Council will receive approximately $6 million in 2015/16 and slightly less in 2016/17 to deliver Community Safety Patrols, Mediation & Justice Programs, Childcare Services, School Nutrition and Youth Services.
Council did not secure all the funding they require to deliver an optimum level of services but will work with partner organisations to ensure the communities receive the services they need.
“While we didn’t receive all the money we need for youth and some children’s services, we have a base that we can work from and we’ll work together with other organisations like CAYLUS and Jesuit Social Services to fill the gaps” Ms Hutton said.
Council President Adrian Dixon was particularly pleased with Prime Minister and Cabinet's response. “The Minister and the Department have recognised that the Council is key to providing services that create safe and harmonious communities so that kids can go to school, adults will go to work and people will thrive” President Dixon said.
“The Government has also recognised the great job that the Yuendumu Mediation & Justice program has been doing and has provided additional funds so it can help neighbouring communities in Willowra and Ti Tree. This is really good news”. President Dixon said.
A recent independent Cost Benefit Analysis conducted by Canberra University demonstrated that the Yuendumu Mediation & Justice Program saved the tax payer $4 for every dollar invested.
Ms Hutton said that the Council now has a clear path. “We’ll now get on with the job of delivering quality services so that families feel supported, safe and secure in their community life” Ms Hutton said.