News

SAVE OUR SERVICES

WHITSUNDAY workers from the Social and Community Services Sector (SACS) will be hitting the streets on Saturday morning to alert the community to the impacts of State Government funding cuts.

A community awareness event titled 'Save our SACS' has been planned for this Saturday at the Airlie Beach foreshore from 10.30am.

Service organisations represented at Saturday's event will include the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre, Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling Service, Tenancy and Housing Information Service (TAAS), Whitsunday Housing Company, Ideal Placements, Proserpine Youth Space and the Whitsunday PCYC.

Assistant secretary of the Services Union Jennifer Thomas said the State Government had already axed about $600,000 in funding from not-for-profit organisations in the Whitsunday region alone, causing jobs to be lost and doors to close.

She said SACS professionals were fearful that this was "just the beginning".

"Ripping over half a million to essential community services in the Whitsundays hurts the economy, it hurts local jobs and it hurts the most vulnerable members of the region, who rely on these services," she said.

Ms Thomas said Saturday was about Whitsunday service organisations sharing their stories with the community and sending a clear message to Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan.

"He needs to advocate when he's standing there in parliament, for these services to continue," she said.

Mr Costigan said he had only become aware of the 'day of action' on Tuesday afternoon.

"I think it would be much more constructive for these people to sit down with me privately and talk over these matters in a decent, cordial manner rather than conduct some flag waving exercise," he said.

Mr Costigan re-iterated that money was "tight" .

"We've come in at a very difficult time and no-one ever thought about where the money was coming from until we got into office and found we had more holes than a tea strainer in the bank accounts of Queensland," he said.

However, Ms Thomas said cutting back on community services was not going to bring Queensland's Triple A credit rating back.

She was joined in this line of reasoning by Whitsunday resident and former housing worker Barb Adamson who said people in need were not impressed "by whether there's a surplus or not".

"They would rather live I think," Ms Adamson said.

Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling chief executive officer Carmen Bekker said it was important for the community to know what was available and what was at risk.

"At some stage in most people's lives they will need a service - if not for them, for their children, or a parent, or a friend," she said.

Ms Bekker said she hoped there would be enough outcry from the region to make the politicians think about how they introduced efficiency cutbacks and service reductions across the state.

Mr Costigan said if people genuinely believed an organisation was in need of support, they should contact him.

"Write to me. Tell me your story and then there's an opportunity for me to make representations to the minister," he said.

"I conduct constituent interviews in 14 different locations across my electorate every couple of months. There is ample opportunity for people to see me personally or write to me."


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Whitsunday Council to crackdown on holiday company

CRACKDOWN: Rooms and houses available to rent on Airbnb come in all shapes and sizes.

Council has announced a crackdown on a holiday company.

Dawson MP laughs off Shaun Micallef's on-air roasting of him

ABC's Mad as Hell

Shaun Micallef makes fun at Dawson MP on his program

Migaloo headed north

WHITE WHALE: Migaloo (pictured off Byron Bay in 2009) appears to be making his way toward the Whitsundays.

Migaloo is reportedly on his way north.

Latest deals and offers

New local festival to hit in 2017

After running a creative arts festival in Brisbane for the last 17 years, Wendy Wilson will be bringing the first ever edition to the Whitsundays next year.

A classical night in Cannonvale

CLASSIC: Chamber Philharmonia Cologne will be performing in Cannonvale.

A classical night will return to Cannonvale.

Coroner delivers Rachel Antonio inquest findings

Rachel Antonio.

Coroner hands down findings at Bowen Courthouse

Dawson MP laughs off Shaun Micallef's on-air roasting of him

ABC's Mad as Hell

Shaun Micallef makes fun at Dawson MP on his program

Man hit by buggy on Hamilton Island

BUGGY INCIDENT: A man in his forties has been hit by a golf buggy on Front St, Hamilton Island.

A man has been hit by a golf buggy on Hamilton Island.

Roll on up for PCYC hockey

SPORTY: Danielle McAlpine, Whitsunday PCYC branch manager Sergeant John Dickinson, Elle McAlpine and Peter McAlpine getting ready for skating sessions at PCYC. Photo Inge Hansen

Roll on up and try inline hockey at Whitsunday PCYC.

Dr Karl, Barnaby Joyce and 'how to unf*** the planet'

Dr Karl will be at Splendour in the Grass 2016.

Controversy and laughs at Splendour in the Grass panels and forums

Lindsay Lohan 'calls off engagement'

Lohan reportedly called off her engagement to Russian millionaire

Rob Kardashian 'neglected' by Blac Chyna

Friends say they are now 'back in love'

Isla Fisher: I don't like talking about my private life

Isla Fisher shut down TV hosts when they asked about her husband

Mariah Carey: I 'can't believe' Prince has gone

'Prince was one of the best people I've met'

Joe Jonas' 'tough' pals

Joe Jonas' pals are 'tough' with his potential partners

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Chance to own an island

Keswick Island is for sale.

Keswick Island to go on the market