Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Support for young children and families one of five projects to strengthen Tasmanian communities

$216,666 for a project in Waverley and Ravenswood to support the development of young children and help local families is just one of the projects funded in Tasmania under the Howard Government’s Stronger Families and Communities Strategy.

Nearly $630,000 will be invested in five projects that will provide lasting benefits to people throughout Tasmania.

Other projects funded include over $135,000 for a project to support young males in sole parent families, and more than $200,000 to boost volunteering in the Break O’Day area.

The Footprints to the Future Project will match boys from sole parent families who have no positive male role models with men who have been carefully selected and trained to act as mentors. The project will seek men who are associated with service clubs, sporting groups and other community organisations to be active participants. Support is also provided to the mothers of the boys helped by the project.

The Break O’Day Volunteer Resource Centre has been funded to develop a more coordinated approach to volunteer resourcing throughout the local area. A coordinator will be appointed to foster community cooperation, and encourage greater community involvement in volunteering.

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 Bridgewater/Gagebrook Urban Renewal Project. Based in a low-income area, the project has helped to bring a local community together, and is now sharing information on urban renewal with other communities around Australia.

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.