Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Mobile Toy Library one of 23 projects to strengthen NSW communities

$241,750 for a Mobile Toy Library in the Bega Valley Shire is just one of the projects funded in New South Wales under the Howard Government’s Stronger Families and Communities Strategy.

Over $2.2 million will be invested in 23 projects that will provide lasting benefits to people throughout New South Wales.

Other projects funded include $152,000 over two years to run a Community Partnership project for young people at risk of leaving school early and $10,000 to fund a family counsellor to help rural families in the Coonamble area.

The Community Partnership project in Albury will encourage young people aged between 12 and 18 to become more involved in community life, learn from positive role models and may contribute to crime prevention in the local area.

Farming families in Coonamble who have been affected by drought and flood over recent years will benefit from family counselling services delivered by Anglicare Western NSW. A counsellor will travel to farms to provide emotional and relationship support for families, as well as offering some financial advice.

This funding is part of a further $15 million made available under the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy to support more than 100 community-based projects across Australia.

This latest funding round means that spending on community projects under the Strategy has now topped $55 million, highlighting the significant contribution the Howard Government has made to help build family and community strength.

We are determined to support people at the local level, and invest in their strengths, skills and capacities. Government doesn’t have all the answers, which is why we’re providing unprecedented support for practical partnerships with local communities.

It’s all about people identifying issues of importance to their communities, and with our support, being able to improve their quality of community and family life in very tangible ways.

The Strategy has a focus on parenting and relationship education, community leadership development, assistance for young vulnerable people, support for Indigenous families and communities and the development of volunteering.

Already there has been great success with projects like the Nambucca Blokes Project, which coordinates services for local men like Life Skills for Blokes courses, health sessions, fathering courses, and workshops on topics such as relationship and anger management.

Every project funded under the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy aims to provide assistance where it is most needed, by helping people and communities come up with solutions to the issues they face.

I encourage everyone to think about how their own communities can be strengthened, and how families can be supported in their own local area.

This commitment confirms the Howard Government’s determination to help create strong, active and united Australian families and communities.