Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$600,000 to upgrade community services in Walgett

Australian Government funding totalling $600,000 will be spent on improving recreation facilities, children’s playgrounds and a Men’s Shed in Walgett through the establishment of a Community Capability Fund.

The announcement follows a visit in February this year when the Prime Minister and I held discussions with Aboriginal elders, community members, the Walgett Council and local schools.

During that meeting issues including safety of community amenities, the need for better recreation opportunities, and coordination of youth activities were raised and this is the first step in meeting some of those concerns.

The funding will be used to construct additional fencing around common areas and homes, repairs and improvements to community recreation facilities, amenities and children’s play areas in the Gingie and Namoi reserves.

It will also contribute to the establishment of a Men’s Shed in Walgett.

The shed is a place where men can go to meet and talk, to build skills to better manage family relationships and to discuss issues concerning them including alcohol and substance abuse and domestic violence.

The fund will also encourage more young people to become involved in local and regional sporting competitions held in conjunction with the Police Citizens Youth Club and NSW Government Sport and Recreation activities such as organised netball, tennis, and football competitions.

Sport can be a huge positive in the lives of children and young people. As well as the obvious health benefits, it builds team spirit, confidence, responsibility and discipline.

The establishment of the Community Capability Fund reflects the Government’s commitment to closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians through the provision of essential community services.