Whyalla’s Youth Plaza Centre will receive $1.26 million from the Federal Government, to expand its hours of operation and the services it offers.
Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey visited the centre to deliver the good news to a very excited co-ordinator Johanne Johns and her team.
“I had previously visited and met with the Youth Plaza team and was impressed with their dedication and commitment,” he said.
“It’s been a tough couple of years dealing with the disruptions of Covid-19 and the pressures on our youth have increased.
“The Federal Government has greatly increased the funding pools for mental health and to provide opportunities and pathways for our young citizens to find a way to meaningful employment.
“This funding package comes from a $50 million boost delivered by Scott Morrison in the Federal Budget to further expand round six of the highly-successful Safer Communities Fund.
“When I spoke to Johanne at the Centre she said the new money will allow them to expand from three days a week to five and be open on Saturday evenings as well.
Johanne said the extra services were something Whyalla has wanted for a very long time.
“We will be able to operate an after school activities, camps and provide targeted interventions and provide assistance young people and their families,” she said.
Mr Ramsey said the general community benefits as well because these programs help divert local at-risk youth from a life of crime.
“All local residents deserve to feel safe and all of our local young people should have the chance to achieve their full potential,” he said.
Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs Jason Wood said the additional funding was in response to overwhelming demand from the community and will support organisations with demonstrated experience in helping marginalised youth, to build resilience, strengthen community connections and job readiness skills.
“These community organisations do vital work in helping get young people on the right track. We know that some young people engage in activities or have negative experiences that leave them at risk of joining gangs, committing serious crimes and disengaging from the wider community,” Assistant Minister Wood said.
“The challenges we’ve faced over the last two years as a result of the pandemic have only added to the sense of social isolation and disconnection that some young people feel.”
“This program ensures young people can get the support and assistance they need. I thank and congratulate the local grant recipients for their ongoing work, which we are proud to support. It’s all about creating a stronger, safer community.”
The funding will be delivered under the latest round of the Safer Communities Fund which has invested more than $315 million to over 800 local communities to deliver grass roots crime prevention initiatives since 2016.
Media contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 08 8633 1744 April 8, 2022