Saira Champion of Playgroup Queensland with Paul Fletcher, Minister for Families and Social Services and Michelle Landry, Assistant Minister
Saira Champion of Playgroup Queensland with Paul Fletcher, Minister for Families and Social Services and Michelle Landry, Assistant Minister Jann Houley

LNP funding to give social services a 'backbone'

SOCIAL services in Rockhampton would be given a "backbone” under the latest announcement from the Federal Government.

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry was joined by the Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher in the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens to announce plans for a multimillion-dollar program.

The Stronger Places, Stronger People initiative would allocate $2.1 million towards funding a "backbone” program in order to better co-ordinate the wide web of social service organisations in the area.

Rockhampton was one of 10 locations included in the program, which Mr Fletcher attributed to lobbying from Ms Landry.

Mr Fletcher identified employment, childcare, mental health and addiction among the range of issues the initiative could cover.

"Thanks to the advocacy from Michelle Landry, we are providing $2.1 million over five years,” he said.

"What we will see is better co-ordinated services delivered to vulnerable people in Rockhampton and surrounding areas.

"You get one particular organisation that takes responsibility for that co-ordination and they will bring together the various service providers.

"How we will see the program work here in Rockhampton will depend upon what the priorities are.”

Mr Fletcher said trial programs had been a success and he thought it was a perfect fit for Rockhampton.

There would be a selection process over the coming months to determine which agency would provide the "backbone” services.

Ms Landry was glad to be considered and said she would like to address youth issues.

"This is something I have lobbied hard for because I feel it's something we need in the community,” she said.

"I've had a lot of feedback lately, particularly regarding problem youths.

"I'd like to see more community organisations get behind things like this and try to put them into line.”