Health | June 25, 2020

Temporary lifeline for Rural Outreach Program

The Rural Outreach Program operating in the Wimmera Southern Mallee has received a temporary lifeline, with funding extended for a further 12 months.

The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said while this was a sensible decision, the announcement did not go anywhere near close enough to providing certainty or direction for the program.

“The Andrews Labor Government is specialising in handing out temporary lifelines to critical services like our Primary Care Partnerships and now the Rural Outreach Program, which our PCPs co-ordinate,” she said.

“We need more certainly than just 12 months at a time for these important programs to enable them to plan for and provide the long-term support that our local communities need.”

Ms Kealy said Primary Care Partnerships had played an integral role during times of need in local communities for the past 20 years, including during drought, floods, bushfires, and the response to COVID-19.

“This is a perfect example of why we need their funding to continue beyond the state government funding cut-off at the end of the year,” she said.

“Now, we have the situation where our fantastic rural outreach workers have also only been given funding certainty for a short period of time.

“No-one can do what these services do for our local communities, and we can’t afford to lose them.

“The continued drip-feeding of funding by the Andrews Labor Government is only creating uncertainly and making their jobs harder.

“I have been proud to stand with our PCPs in the fight for ongoing funding security and will do everything I can to ensure local residents continue to have access to the vital services they provide.”



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