DSS Grant cuts will hurt out community

26 February 2015

Dr CHALMERS (Rankin) (13:33):  It is my honour to follow the member for Jagajaga, who is an absolute champion for community groups right around the country.

The $270 million in cuts to the DSS discretionary grants program will spell disaster for hard-working local organisations and for the most vulnerable people who depend on them so much. On Monday, 20 community groups from my area held a crisis meeting to discuss the government's massive cuts to emergency relief and homelessness program funding. The groups received letters—on Christmas Eve, of all days—telling them that their funding would be cut, meaning programs would be shut down and jobs cut as well.

An email I received from a constituent sums up the situation at Logan East Community Neighbourhood Association in my electorate very well:

'At this centre we have met many local people of various backgrounds, ages and nationalities experiencing different crisis situations. They would come into the centre being broken and in despair and then would find hope and help.'

LECNA is one of many groups who will be forced to cancel their emergency relief programs as well as their KNIT training program because of these cuts.

Families at the point of despair will miss out on emergency relief because of this government, young people with nowhere to sleep at night will miss out because of this government and devoted professionals who work hours of overtime for vital groups will lose their jobs because of this government.

I join with the member for Jagajaga and everyone on this side to call on the minister to restore funding to LECNA and to the other vital services being hit in my community.