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Ministerís assurance on alternative Good Beginnings funding welcomed

Latrobe City Council has welcomed an assurance by the Federal Minister, that he is looking at other options for funding the Good Beginnings program in Latrobe.

By Latrobe City Council - 30th April 2001 - Back to News

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Latrobe City Council has welcomed an assurance by the Federal Minister for Community Services, Larry Anthony, that his department is looking at other options for funding the Good Beginnings program in Latrobe.

Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Brendan Jenkins said that the Ministerís assurances provided the community at last with some hope for the ongoing sustainability of the program.

"The generous donation of $30,000 by a local benefactor to ensure the Good Beginnings program kept going in the interim, is an indication of the esteem in which the program is held, and a recognition of the programís intrinsic value to the local community," Cr Jenkins said.

"Perhaps more than the groundswell of protest by local government and community groups, the donation from an anonymous benefactor was the pin that finally pricked the Federal Governmentís conscience over what could be considered an error of judgement," Cr Jenkins said.

"The Good Beginnings Program, based in Moe, but covering other parts of Latrobe has been providing valuable support for families in the first stages of parenting, and children in the early years of life. Not only has the program been very well supported by local families, but it has been acknowledged by community agencies as doing a great job.

"When it came to re-funding the program, other parts of the pilot project located in Katherine, Hobart, and inner western Sydney received further funding, but additional funding for Latrobe was inexplicably rejected," Cr Jenkins explained.

"We were totally amazed and perplexed about that decision. There was really no good explanation as to why the Latrobe program had not been funded, when the other three projects, which were all part of the same pilot program, received full funding for a further two years," Cr Jenkins said.

"Whatever the Federal Governmentís reasoning, whether there was an error in the assessment process, or a miscalculation in determining the regionís needs, we are glad to be advised by the Minister that all is not lost, and that there is a second chance draw, where Federal funding for child abuse prevention is concerned.

"Family and child support is not merely an expendable contingency of community life. There is an ongoing need for resources which requires an understanding by government at all levels, and sustainable strategies to implement effective programs.

"Good Beginnings has demonstrated the benefits a program of this calibre can deliver to the community. Council now feels confident, given the Ministerís assurances, that Latrobeís Good Beginnings Program will satisfy the criteria needed to secure alternative funding," Cr Jenkins concluded.


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