The McGowan Labor Government is providing $11.3 million in funding, in the 2019-20 State Budget, to ensure the ongoing operation and sustainability of Police and Community Youth Centres (PCYC) and to expand its services across the State.
The commitment underpins the McGowan Government’s support for programs aimed at reducing juvenile offending and improving community safety.
As part of the commitment, the Government is investing $1.95 million in establishing a new centre in Kununurra.
The establishment of a PCYC in Kununurra will deliver structured youth intervention activities to address the causal factors of youth offending in the Kimberley town.
The Government is also allocating $1.3 million to complete stage one of the West Kimberley Youth and Resilience Hub Project.
The Resilience Hub will provide a safe space and environment for young people to participate in activities and workshops aimed at building life skills and experiences.
This funding commitment is on top of the McGowan Government’s $21.5 million commitment towards continuation of the Regional Youth Justice Services Strategy in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions.
It also follows more than $430,000 in grants in the past 12 months to youth diversionary projects in the Kimberley.
The Carnarvon PCYC will undergo a major redevelopment to expand its capacity and better meet the needs of young people in that town with increased participation.
The PCYC is one of the largest multipurpose youth facilities, with a history of 78 years in Western Australia.
In consultation with the Commissioner of Police, a new partnership agreement with the WA Police Force is being drafted where police officers will participate in youth intervention and learning and development programs.
Police officers will provide mentorship, case management and coaching to youth at risk of becoming prolific priority offenders.
The McGowan Government remains committed to the future of PCYC and ensuring the community continues to benefit from its outstanding work.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“This year’s Budget includes significant funding to enable the PCYC to continue its operations and expand its vital services across the State.
“The extra support and programs for local kids at risk of offending will go a long way to help lower the rates of youth offending. It’s essential there is a support base like PCYC to help these young people develop positive behaviours.
“We are committed to making our communities safer and trying to prevent young people from becoming entrenched in criminal behaviour in the first place.”
As stated by Police Minister Michelle Roberts:
“For nearly 80 years PCYCs have done an outstanding job providing services to our young people.
“Unfortunately the Liberal National Government cut funding to PCYCs by removing police staff from them.
“I’m pleased the McGowan Government’s investment in PCYCs will provide certainty and ensure the continuation of their outstanding work, particularly in our regional communities.”