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SW MLC hits back at CRC funding cuts

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Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times

South West MLC Colin Holt has hit back at funding cuts to regional Community Resource Centres, saying it will damage communities.

Mr Holt’s comments come after the State Government wrote to all CRCs seeking feedback on a recommended future funding approach at a more sustainable level.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said under the recommended approach, the majority of CRCs would be offered $70,000 per annum.

Mr Holt said the reduction of $10 million would have a dramatic impact on the service delivery capacity of the CRC network, including those at Brunswick Junction, Donnybrook, Harvey, Pinjarra, Waroona and Yarloop.

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“Our CRCs are the shop front for government services, assist with funding and projects for community groups, provide banking, link people to technology and are our community hubs,” he said.

“The Labor Government continues to claim it is reducing funding to CRCs in the name of budget repair.

“This is untrue. Labor is taking money from the bush to fund extravagant election promises in Perth.”

Ms MacTiernan said CRC funding had blown out under the previous State Government.

“The total CRC operational cost of $5.9 million in 2009-10 ballooned to $13 million five years later,” she said.

“We were elected to bring the finances back in order and our out-year allocation of $8 million represents what would have been the normal trajectory of growth.

“There is no intention to close the program or to stop the funding of CRCs – we have allocated $42 million across the forward estimates for the CRC program.”

Linkwest chief executive officer Jane Chilcott, whose organisation represents WA CRCs, said the network was devastated by the proposed cuts to the CRC program.

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