The Nationals WA have hailed the McGowan Government’s decision to reverse its funding cuts to Western Australia’s Community Resource Centre (CRC) network.
“This is a win for regional communities and testament to the resilience of regional people,” Leader Mia Davies said.
“This is a win for every person who took the time to sign a petition, to send an email to their local MP, write a letter to a Minister or attend a rally. This is a victory for people power.
“The McGowan Government – and not for the first time – underestimated the strength and determination of regional communities. Labor thought they could get away with these mean funding cuts and that no one would notice.
“Regional Western Australia has again proven a force to be reckoned with and I sincerely hope this Labor Government thinks twice next time they sit around the table and discuss what regional services they can cut to fund their extravagant election commitments in Perth.”
Ms Davies said the McGowan Government had put many regional communities through months of angst and uncertainty.
“The pain they have created was real and unnecessary,” Ms Davies said. “This is no way to run a Government – the Premier and the Regional Development Minister should have taken the time to consult before slashing and burning.”
Ms Davies said CRCs provided a range of essential government services, professional development, employment and traineeship opportunities as well as supporting a massive volunteer force.
“Since the cuts were announced last year, our team has supported regional communities embark on a campaign to make sure the McGowan Government understood how vital CRCs were to regional towns,” she said.
As part of the “Support Our CRCs” campaign, more than 5,300 signatures had been collected from all corners of the State, resulting in 80 petitions being tabled in State Parliament.
“We put it to the Premier and the Regional Development Minister that they would be hard pressed to find a more important funding recipient than our Community Resource Centres,” Ms Davies said.
“The Premier chose to insult our communities by saying regional people did not need CRCs in 2018 because everyone had a smartphone in their pocket.”
Ms Davies called on the State Government to now reverse its suite of regional education cuts, including the decision to close Moora Residential College, shut five regional camp schools and the raid on the Agriculture Farm Provisions Trust.