The Commonwealth and New South Wales governments today announced $1.8 million in funding to support the Maranguka Justice Reinvestment project in Bourke.
The investment will see the Liberal-National Federal government fund $1.5 million and the New South Wales Liberal Government fund $300,000 in the first year.
Federal Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, said this co-investment comes under the Stronger Places, Stronger People program, which will help local communities achieve the best outcomes for children and their families through community-led planning and action.
“Our Liberal-National Government is committed to ensuring all children in all communities are reaching their full potential,” Mr Fletcher said.
“This targeted funding will support the Maranguka Justice Reinvest community-led initiative in Bourke, where there is evidence of entrenched disadvantage.”
Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, said the project’s partnership with community leaders in the local area has been beneficial.
“This is an important project for Bourke, offering a real solution for tackling problems around offending and incarceration. Maranguka Justice Reinvestment creates alternate pathways for local youth and has been hugely positive for this community,” Mr Coulton said.
Mr Coulton said the project involves New South Wales Police, Bourke Tribal Council, Bourke Shire Council, Government agencies and not-for-profit organisations working together to support vulnerable families.
New South Wales Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, said that the announcement of Bourke as the second Stronger Places, Stronger People location is a reflection of the capability of the community, particularly through the Maranguka Justice Reinvestment project, to lead positive change.
“This community is working towards the best future for its children, and understands that working in collaboration with government will help achieve the best possible outcomes,” Minister Hazzard said.
Taya Dusseldorp, Executive Director of the Dusseldorp Forum, said that they are pleased to continue to support the work of Maranguka in Bourke, and to see that the community is demonstrating the power of connecting the dots to create a place where all young people thrive.
This funding is part of the Liberal-National Government’s Stronger Places, Stronger People program, with the Commonwealth committing $35 million over five years to support 10 communities across Australia to work together, build on community strengths and create an environment where all children thrive.
The first of these 10 communities, Logan in Queensland, is already demonstrating positive outcomes under the Logan Together initiative, with more families accessing early intervention services and ensuring their children are participating in literacy programs, kindergarten, and maternal and child health services.
The additional eight Stronger Places, Stronger People communities will be selected and announced over the coming months.