The McGowan Government is delivering a significant boost to address issues of youth crime, mental health, and alcohol and other drug abuse in the Kimberley region.
The State Budget includes new funding for a range of support programs and services to improve the wellbeing of young people in the Kimberley, to break the cycle of crime and incarceration, and to progress the State Government’s Kimberley Juvenile Justice Strategy.
The Budget includes a number of place-based prevention and diversion initiatives for young people across the Kimberley, including:
- $900,000 to deliver the Kimberley Juvenile Justice Strategy to find alternatives to detention and services aimed at diversion;
- $6.5 million of State-wide funding for the Aboriginal Community Connectors program to improve community safety, and reduce community consequences of alcohol and other drugs and related ‘at risk’ behaviours;
- $2 million for a new PCYC in Kununurra;
- $1.3 million for the West Kimberley Youth and Resilience Hub Project; and
- $500,000 for the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Cultural Centre to deliver cultural healing programs that build resilience in young Aboriginal people.
The McGowan Government is focused on delivering a comprehensive plan to tackle the scourge of drugs and alcohol and delivering better mental health services. The Budget includes:
- $42.5 million in additional funding for the Methamphetamine Action Plan including
- $9.2 million to establish a comprehensive alcohol and other drug youth centre in the Kimberley with residential rehabilitation, low medical withdrawal beds and a day program;
- $20.1 million for the North West Drug and Alcohol Support Program to reduce the harm caused by alcohol and other drugs in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Mid-West;
- $914,000 to increase training for Aboriginal staff in alcohol and other drug services; and
- $8.1 million for the Suicide Prevention Strategy, to continue to work to reduce the risk of suicide in WA including remote Aboriginal communities.
This investment is in addition to the McGowan Government progressing its election commitments and delivering on its Plan for the Kimberley. Initiatives that are already underway in the region include:
- $21.5 million to continue delivery of Regional Youth Justice Services in the Kimberley and Pilbara;
- $1.1 million for the Kimberley Family Violence Service to continue to assist in responding to family and domestic violence;
- $1.9 million over two years to expand the Ear Bus Program in the Kimberley;
- $22.4 million towards the delivery of the Kimberley Schools Project; and
- $18.7 million in State-wide funding for the Aboriginal Rangers Program.
For more 2019-20 State Budget information, visit https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
As stated by Health and Mental Health Minister Roger Cook:
“The State Government is supporting the health and wellbeing of young people in the Kimberley with a wide range of initiatives including specialist Aboriginal mental health services, Aboriginal mental health programs and suicide prevention programs.
“The health and mental problems facing young people in the Kimberley require a place-based solution. The McGowan Government is listening to the community and consulting with them to develop culturally appropriate initiatives.”
As stated by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:
“The budget initiatives to support Aboriginal young people in the Kimberley are strategically aimed to foster partnerships between Aboriginal people, community based organisations and government.
“While there is an element of responding to immediate and pressing needs the underlying feature of the Government’s approach is to build a partnership structure that is locally focused, sustainable and empowers Aboriginal people to address the problems that their communities face.”
As stated by Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk:
“This Government is committed to working with local services and, most importantly, the community to ensure children are safe and healthy in the home and community.
“We know that family and domestic violence has significant impacts on families and communities. Continued funding to the Kimberley Family Violence Service is another way of making sure that children and young people in these circumstances in the Kimberley are supported.”