Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Campbell Newman steps up attack on Queensland’s most vulnerable

With today’s Queensland State Budget, Premier Campbell Newman has stepped up his ongoing attack on his State’s most vulnerable people, the Federal Minister for Community Services, Julie Collins, said today.

“Campbell Newman’s cutbacks amount to a $380 million dollar assault on vital community services,” Ms Collins said.

“One of the most worrying cuts in the Newman Budget is the $9.6 million ripped out of the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian’s operations.

“This heartless cut will seriously undermine the Commission’s ability to promote and protect the rights, interests and wellbeing of children and young people in Queensland.

“The Queensland Government has just endorsed the second three-year action plan of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020 – how will these cuts help achieve the goals of this plan and work for the well-being of children?

“This is one of many examples of the lack of compassion of this Liberal Premier and his Government in this first Budget.

“The Liberals in Queensland are slashing funding for services that help disadvantaged families, victims of domestic violence, single mums and children at risk of abuse and neglect.

“The Budget also takes away $259.7 million over four years to other projects and services by ceasing or reducing their funding.

“Campbell Newman has already imposed a gag order on community services – so the providers of these vital services can’t even defend themselves.

“Even before the Budget, the Newman Government had stopped funding to a long list of community groups and services.

“Just last week, the Australian Government stepped in with an additional $200,000 for the Queensland Working Women’s Service to stay afloat after the Newman Government had cut its funding.

“The Newman Government’s slash and burn approach to the community services sector must stop.

“The high-level goals of many programs for Australians most in need can’t be achieved by one level of government alone.

“We need a collaborative effort between all levels of government and the non-government sector to improve the lives and opportunities of children and families in Australia,” Ms Collins said.