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April 23, 2024

Tweed Seat candidates roundtable for neighbourhood centres

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Geoff Provest MP (NATS), Craig Elliot (LAB), Ciara Denham (GRNS), and Susie Hearder (AJP) will attend a roundtable event tomorrow to hear from Local Community Services Association, the NSW Council for Social Service and Pottsville Beach Neighbourhood Centre, about the need for core funding for Neighbourhood and Community Centres.

The key issue to be discussed is that Neighbourhood and Community Centres (NCCs) in NSW must receive core funding from the NSW Government for the essential, local support they provide through programs and services, particularly in times of crisis and for those doing it toughest.

No dedicated funding

Despite the critically important role NCCs play in supporting local communities, there is no dedicated funding from the Government to keep the doors open.

Instead, these centres rely on program-based funding, one-off grants, fundraising and donations to cobble together sufficient funds to cover the cost of a manager and administrative support. NCCs are often not able to run community development programs at the scale required to the needs and aspirations of their communities.

NSW Council for Social Service (NCOSS) CEO Joanna Quilty said neighbourhood centres are a good option for communities. ‘Whether it is food relief, disability support, social connection, immediate assistance for those experiencing homelessness or domestic violence, or referral to specialist services, neighbourhood centres are well placed to provide a raft of services in response to local community need. But managing such a diversity of service offerings is complex and requires strong oversight and dedicated resources. 

‘During the floods, fires and pandemic, in many instances, these centres were first on the ground and stepped in as a quasi-emergency response team – providing urgent help to those in need.

Services are critical during hard times

‘These services are critical during hard times including local emergency events, yet they don’t have any guaranteed core funding from the NSW Government that recognises this essential role and enables ongoing, sound management. This is completely unacceptable. That’s why we are calling on the candidates in Tweed to commit to providing core funding for NCCs in the lead-up to the NSW election.’

Local Community Services Association (LCSA) Acting Executive Officer, Anthony Brown, said that when faced with life’s challenges people turn to those they know and trust in their local community for support. ‘Pottsville Beach Neighbourhood Centre (PBNC), provides an accessible, inclusive and non-judgmental space for people to achieve positive outcomes for their lives, thanks to the dedicated staff and volunteers who continue to go above and beyond each day to assist all those who walk through their door.

‘Yet despite these efforts – our centres are still left without proper resourcing or funding.

‘We have joined forces with NCOSS and PBNC to raise this issue with local candidates and advocate for change before the State election.

‘It’s now time for the local candidates to tell us whether they support our call or not.

Last few years incredibly challenging

Centre Manager Angela Maxwell said the last few years of incredibly challenging events has seen local neighbourhood and community centres step into the void. ‘When emergency services didn’t turn up, we were there. When people needed food, water and shelter, we were there. We shouldn’t have to beg for basic funding, but we are.

‘It’s time the NSW Government took our work seriously and provided core funding for our important and crucial services.

This event begins at 12A Elizabeth St Pottsville at 10am tomorrow (Tuesday February 28).

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  1. “NCC’s Community consultation”?
    The NSW LNP don’t do community consultation, PERIOD! Could someone ask Provest, what the timeline is for the privatisation of Tweed Valley Hospital and will it be to the Cayman Island based group that the LNP has already sold our other NSW public hospitals to? Google it!
    And the scheduled closure and sale dates for the Murwillumbah and Tweed hospital sites to the selected developers? This is without doubt, of the most concerned and talked about problem to the Tweed/Lismore electorates. Along with the tragic forced sale of our 4 Public schools by the NSW LNP! Why would we trust the NSW LNP, when we look at its appalling “Community Consultation” record?
    If the NSW LNP are going to refuse basic “Community Consultation and transparency”, I suggest we should put the NSW LNP in “Last Number Position” on our ballot, because that is where they have always put “Community Consultation”, LAST , they have never ever, even considered it as they scheme against our community!!
    Whats the NSW LNP scandal to policy failure ratio for this week? Have the authorities located Perrottet’s brothers and summonsed them to court yet?
    Morrisons LNP left us a massive trillion dollar debt, what will the massive Perrottet LNP debt be?
    Will Provest have his photo op stunt team with him, ready for some more of those nauseating Koala cuddling glossy election how to votes pamphlets, while his Nations party continue wreak havoc of their habitats?
    Provest’s only real concern this election is the number of Koala cuddle photos to include on his next glossy pamphlet letter box drop, thats really how fake this whole charade really is!
    Time to wake up TWEED, don’t be distracted from the NSW LNP’s appalling record, they do not deserve re-election, they are done!


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