Kids Back on Track campaign
FUNDING Youth Insearch should be above politics and the government’s budget rhetoric, the Shadow Social Services Minister says.
Jenny Macklin has the second longest reign as Social Services Minister, holding the portfolio for more than five years.
During that time, she oversaw a number of funding announcements for Youth Insearch and is well aware of the “terrific work” the organisation does.
Ms Macklin said a key focus of any good government should be to help those young people who are vulnerable or at risk.
“We want to do everything we possibly can do to help young people, who may be having trouble for all sorts of reasons,” Ms Macklin said.
“What Youth Insearch has been doing and continues to do is really provide great support to these young people.
“What is important for the government is to look at the evidence of how efficient Youth Insearch is and provide funding certainty into the future.”
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Parkes MP Mark Coulton and Youth Insearch advocates will meet with Social Services Minister Christian Porter in Canberra on Thursday to discuss the program’s funding future.
Mr Joyce and Mr Porter recently announced an additional $50,000 for the charity, however Youth Insearch remains hopeful the government will commit to providing $400,000 a year, as it has in the past.
“The Coalition government is committed to supporting young people to realise their potential, and this funding to Youth Insearch in Tamworth enables the delivery of its successful early intervention programme for a further six months,” Mr Porter said.
“This funding ensures continuity of this service until new funding opportunities become available later this year.”
Ms Macklin said it was time for Mr Porter to respond to the community outcry and provide Youth Insearch with the full amount of funding.
“The first thing he has to do is sit down and listen to Mr Joyce, and listen to the community,” she said.
“If Mr Joyce is worth his salt as a local member, then he will make sure Youth Insearch gets its funding.
“Look at the huge cost to these young individuals, their families and the community if this money isn’t delivered. The cost will be much greater to the government if we see crime going up and more young people getting into trouble.”