Neighbourhood Houses

27 March 2018, Mr McCurdy (Ovens Valley): My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Families and Children.

The action I seek is that the minister urgently deliver on the election commitment of 2014 to support neighbourhood houses throughout Victoria but more importantly, or specifically, within Ovens Valley.

Last week I met with Pangerang Community House and Open Door Neighbourhood House in Wangaratta. They operate with very small budgets but deliver major benefits to our region.

Their funding from the state government has been reduced in real terms since the Andrews government was elected. The minor increases in funding have not kept pace with the CPI, which has now put many services at risk within our community.

Pangerang Community House offers courses for kids, plus computer, health and wellbeing, art and craft, general interest and parenting skills courses, all of which are vital to our young parents, who may not necessarily have a tertiary education behind them or a trade and who desperately want to improve their and their family's welfare and future opportunities.

Open Door Neighbourhood House offers classes on the topics of technology, creative craft, recipes for life, fun and fitness, and community learning.

The Andrews government has shown no respect for the volunteers within our community who support these neighbourhood houses. This is further evidence of all talk and little action for our small community groups who are doing the best they can with the little resources they have to improve the wellbeing of people from in and around Wangaratta.

I ask the minister to deliver on the election commitment of further funding for neighbourhood houses immediately.

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