Youth service receives $11m

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian
Carnarvon PCYC will receive $1 million from the State.
Camera IconCarnarvon PCYC will receive $1 million from the State. Credit: Supplied

The State Government is funding a $1 million expansion of Carnarvon PCYC as part of a $11.3 million cash splash for WA youth recreation sites.

The money, which has been squeezed into the 2019-20 State Budget, is part of Government moves to reduce youth offending by giving children, particularly in regional areas, a place to be and activities to do.

Broome PCYC is also receiving funding to expand facilities and the State will build a new PCYC in Kununurra.

About $7 million in leftovers will be shared between the 18 other WA sites, including Geraldton, to pay for operating costs.

The State injection comes as a relief to youth workers, who had expressed concerns about funding being inadequate to meet community need.

The Geraldton location was previously surviving on a $24,394 grant from WA Police, which was expected to cover their Safe Space program for over a year.

The initiative moved hundreds of loitering youths from the Geraldton foreshore to PCYC, provided food for them and transported them home at night.

PCYC president Geoffrey Stooke said there was a greater number of WA children in need of care and supervision outside school and the home.

“PCYC has achieved a great deal in our almost 80-year history and now is certainly the right time to be building on those achievements because the number of children and young people in need of opportunities to take part in healthy and safe recreational programs is increasing.

“Through this new partnership, we will work together to reduce crime and offending by young people by engaging them in healthy and positive activities. “It’s a win-win for the WA community and for young people themselves.”

The $11.3 million boost sits on top a $21.5 million State Government pledge to refund the Regional Youth Justice Services Strategy, which includes managing children on community orders and funding emergency short-stay accommodation for bailed children with nowhere to go.

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