Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Supporting children and families in Western Australia

Joint Media Release with:

  • Kate Ellis MP, Minister for Early Childhood Education Child Care and Youth

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and the Minister for Early Childhood Education, Child Care and Youth, Kate Ellis, today announced the locations of five Children and Family Centres for Western Australia.

The Indigenous-focused centres will be in Fitzroy Crossing, Kununurra, Roebourne, Halls Creek and the Swan region.

Ms Macklin said the Australian Government was providing $42.35 million over six years to establish the five centres in areas of high disadvantage in Western Australia.

‘These centres will co-locate a range of parenting, child care, early learning and development services in the one location, making these important services easier for parents and their children to access,’ Ms Macklin said.

‘They will be places where Indigenous and disadvantaged families will be able to seek help and work with a range of support services to ensure their children have the best possible start in life.’

Ms Ellis said the centres would address the individual needs of Indigenous children and their families.

‘The Australian Government recognises the importance of the early years of a child’s life and is committed to supporting children and families,’ Ms Ellis said.

‘The Children and Family Centres will bring together a range of services aimed at ensuring families have access to the tools they need to help care for their children.’

The five centres are being established in Western Australia as part of the Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership Agreement between the Australian and state and territory governments.

Under the partnership, the Australian Government has provided $293 million over six years to fund the establishment of at least 35 Children and Family Centres in urban, regional and remote locations across Australia.

Ms Macklin said the Western Australian Government has already begun discussions with the Halls Creek community about the specific site for the centre and the types of services it will provide. Discussions with the other communities will commence shortly.

The Western Australia centres are expected to become operational over the next five years, with the first centre in Halls Creek expected to be completed in late 2010 and operational soon after.