The Nationals WA will boost funding and deliver certainty for WA’s Community Resource Centre (CRC) network to recognise the vital role CRCs play throughout regional WA.
Leader Mia Davies said if elected The Nationals would commit $91.5 million over five years to the CRC network to underpin services they provide across the State.
“Community Resource Centres have lived under threat of defunding by this Labor Government and Minister for Regional Development for four years,” Ms Davies said.
“It has been patently obvious that neither the Premier or Minister for Regional Development value the work of the network and this has cast a dark shadow over their future.”
She said despite challenges, the network had been getting on with the job of delivering for their communities on a stripped back budget and little room to expand, build additional capacity in the network or employ more staff.
“Our commitment will provide CRCs with funding they need to help the network sustain services they provide and recognise the role they play in providing essential services to regional WA,” Ms Davies said.
The Nationals WA commitment would include an operational funding to $14 million per year and the creation of standalone funding for the Regional Traineeship Program ($3 million per year) and Innovation and Technology Grants ($600,000 per year).
An additional $3.5 million will deliver a two-year trial for a number of CRCs to employ a part-time staff member to support vulnerable and at-risk members of the community navigate Government and community services.
“We know staff in CRCs spend significant time supporting community members that find it difficult to navigate Government services, most of which have shifted online,” she said.
“Have a dedicated staff member to support and work with these people, sometimes the most vulnerable in our communities, will ensure we don’t have people falling through the cracks.”
Ms Davies said the CRC network played an essential role in their regional communities, acting as an access point for government services including Centrelink and Medicare, and providing opportunities for community, business and economic development.
“There are more than 100 CRCs located in regional WA run by a network of devoted staff and more than 1000 volunteers, operating services which meet the needs of their local communities,” Ms Davies said.