SUE Abbott, Greens Candidate for Upper Hunter said groups that support the communities’ most vulnerable are being ignored during the by-election.
“Our towns need more social and affordable housing; and we need to fund community groups so they can support people that are struggling to buy food to feed their families,” Ms Abbott said.
“I spoke with Lee Watts Manager of the Scone Neighbourhood Resource Centre this week and she told me they are underfunded and that the service she manages struggles to meet the everyday needs of those most vulnerable in her community,” she said.
“Ms Watts said that she spends an enormous amount of time writing grant applications along with organising lots of fundraising events in order to operate their breakfast program, pantry and other programs. She recognises that our community are incredibly generous as is local business but it is an uphill battle with very little money to work with,” she said.
Ms Abbott said worthy projects have been shelved in favour of pork barrelling desired electorates, a behaviour considered perfectly acceptable by the Premier, Gladys Berijiklian.
“Right now Ms Watts has a very promising business case to run a cafe working with volunteers. This will generate income, on an ongoing basis and free up hers and her staff’s time to work with clients. Lee needs the base funding to begin the project. These are the projects that should be properly funded,” Ms Abbott said.
“Clearly the community café should qualify for a substantial grant however, we have seen that grants aren’t allocated on the basis of need or social out comes, rather they are used to garner votes. Why aren’t the big parties also announcing funding for these fantastic social initiatives?” questioned Ms Abbott.