Community Resource Centres in Donnybrook, Bridgetown, Manjimup, Boyup Brook, Nannup and other areas in the South West may soon face significant funding cuts from the WA Government.
Linkwest has raised concerns that the ‘options paper’ determining future funding cuts to CRCs across the South West might not be conducted by an independent body.
The company, tasked with protecting CRCs in Western Australia, has reportedly been notified by the State Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development that there will be an internal departmental evaluation.
The evaluation is designed to determine how the proposed 40 per cent cuts to CRCs across WA would be carried out.
The WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development currently funds around 100 rural and regional CRCs at a cost of $100,000 each.
The cuts would see CRC funding shrink from $13 million to $8 million statewide.
The options paper will be delivered to Minister for Regional Development Alannah MacTiernan on Saturday, June 30.
Linkwest chief executive officer Jane Chilcott said the cuts would greatly impact resources and staff at the centres.
“At the end of the day, it’s a long-term community development program so it’s not a short term injection of cash into a community,” she said.
“It’s about building relationships and networks. The Benefit of a CRC in a community is that it provides a link between government services and not-for-profit services.
“As well as providing a community hub, they also provide access into multiple other valuable services.”
Ms MacTiernan said the Labor Government was elected to help bring finances “back in order”.
“We acknowledge that CRCs provide valuable services, but there is huge variability between individual CRCs in terms of usage and the level of service offered,” she said.
“We also need to take a real look at the locations of our CRCs: there is a disparity in how resources are allocated between the regions.
“The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is conducting a review into these issues. We anticipate the review will be complete by the middle of the year.”
Ms MacTiernan said the department would work alongside CRC staff during the review.