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Latrobe City Council seeks funding commitment for Good Beginnings

Latrobe City Council has condemned, in the strongest of terms, the Federal Government decision to cease funding for the Good Beginnings program in Latrobe.

By Latrobe City Council - 15th February 2001 - Back to News

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Latrobe City Council has condemned, in the strongest of terms, the Federal Government decision to cease funding for the Good Beginnings program in Latrobe. The Council has sought an audience with key Federal Ministers to ask for the decision to be reversed.

Good Beginnings is an early intervention program aimed at supporting parents in the first years of parenting. Based in Moe, but covering other parts of Latrobe, it has been operating as part of a national pilot program for the last three years. The other projects are located in Katherine, Hobart, and inner western Sydney.

Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Tony Hanning, said that while the program had provided a range of important support services to numerous families over the three years, the Federal Government had just announced that it would be providing two more years funding to the three projects located in the other parts of Australia, but not the Latrobe program.

“No reasons have been given, apart from the information that the Latrobe Good Beginnings program ‘was a lower priority’,” Cr Hanning said.

“We are totally amazed and perplexed about this decision. There is really no good explanation as to why the Latrobe program has not been funded, when the other three projects, which were all part of the same pilot program have received full funding for a further two years,” Cr Hanning said.

“It is not as if the Latrobe program was not performing satisfactorily. Indeed it has been very well supported by local families and acknowledged by community agencies as doing a great job.

“What more important programs can there be than those which support families in the first stages of parenting and children in the early years of life?

“Family and child support is not merely an expendable contingency of community life; and yet, with the flick of a bureaucratic pen, this program has been defunded,” Cr Hanning said.

“It is just not good enough that a small agency dedicated to early childhood intervention and support should be kept on tenterhooks and then cast adrift like this. The Federal Government needs to take responsibility in these particular instances if it is fair dinkum about valuing and supporting family life.

“Council has therefore sought urgent meetings with Federal representatives and the Federal Minister for Family and Community Services to ask that this vital program be supported with full funding for a minimum of two more years,” Cr Hanning concluded.

Media Enquiries:

Cr. Tony Hanning, Mayor, Latrobe City tel. 0417 373 577

Cr. Brendan Jenkins, Deputy Mayor, Latrobe City tel. 0417 374 590

Ms. Penny Holloway, Chief Executive Officer, tel. 5173 1401 or 0417 557 103

Jeremy Bein, Public Relations and Communications Officer, tel. 5173 1468

Source: www.gippsland.com

Published by: latrobecity@gippslander.com



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