FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WITHDRAWS FUNDING FOR COOBER PEDY CHILD PROGRAMS

Federal funding reallocation may force the closure of all the Child Community Links programs in Coober Pedy. These are the only funded programs within Coober Pedy for 0 – 12 year olds and their families.

Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Phil Cameron, said: “Council have been advised that for the first time in 11 years that we have been unsuccessful in securing funding to continue our programs. Programs will be suspended immediately or over the coming few weeks while we try to source alternative funding.”

“Child community links staff have gone into overload seeking grants to plug the gap, but at the moment it’s not looking promising”, explained Mr Cameron.

“It’s very important that people understand that these are Federally-funded programs and Council is not able to fund them itself.  Simply, this cut came from Canberra, not from us. We’re doing all we can to find replacement funding, including talking with the Federal Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey, and State Member for Giles Eddie Hughes. We urge parents and anyone else affected by these funding cuts to contact their local member directly and make their feelings known,” said Mr Cameron.

The programs, provided by Child Community Links which have been put suspended include:
• Tuesday art and craft for 2-5 year olds
• Tuesday Tjitji Tjuta Inkanyini Pakulpa Playgroup 0 – 5 year olds
• Friday Tiny Tackers Play Group for 0-2 year olds
• Saturday Lego Club 5 – 12 year olds
• Cut & Paste art group for 5-12 year olds every second Saturday
• Free Kids Tent at the Opal Festival
• Face Painting and kids entertainment (ie characters, jumping castle etc) at the Coober Pedy Races
• Holiday Programs for 5 year olds and up
Programs which are continuing to run temporarily due to volunteer input are:
• Monday morning playtime for 2-5 year olds with the kindy kids and child care centres
• Thursday Little Musicians 2 – 5 year olds
• Sunday Playgym for 0-5 year olds

Child community links play a key role in organising other community and family events throughout the year which would not be possible without ongoing funding.

“These programs have had increasing attendance and growing enthusiasm and support from our community. They are very important programs supporting the families of Coober Pedy particularly those classified at risk, vulnerable and/or socially isolated.

These programs are all learning based programs where children and parents learn important skills that have a positive impact throughout their lives,” concluded Mr Cameron”