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Mornington News 28 July 2015
Welfare services hit by ‘unacceptable’ cuts Stephen Taylor email@example.com FUNDING cuts to emergency relief services have hit the Mornington Peninsula region hard. Managers of community support and information centres say they are struggling to provide for the increasing food, clothing and welfare demands across the peninsula. Rosebud, Hastings and Mornington support and information centres are usually the first point of contact for those in dire need in the local community. They provide food vouchers, food parcels, assist with payments, provide advocacy and budgeting assistance and, generally, work in the best interests of those struggling. But the welfare services are reeling from Department of Social Services funding cuts which stripped the region of more than $85,000 in emergency relief funding this financial year. “These cuts are unacceptable given that many residents accessing the support and information centres are living on, or below, the poverty line,” Southern Peninsula Community Support and Information Centre manager Jackie Currie said. “Many residents who are on fixed and low incomes have also experienced a reduction to their Centrelink payments recently through pension reforms. “They are paying high rental and utility costs together with the ever increasing costs of day to day living expenses, such as food and fresh produce, education expenditure, essential medications and fuel.”
She said the department had also removed funding for intensive case management services to residents in crisis. The three support and information centres have vowed to continue these vital case management services despite the funding cuts. “The emergency relief program is fantastic in helping those in crisis manage their immediate needs,” said Ms Currie, who is based at Rosebud. “However, the case management program enables people to achieve real sustainable change, getting them out of the ‘crisis cycle’ all together. “While we are doing everything we can to be innovative, these funding cuts simply mean we will have to deliver less and the most vulnerable in our community will suffer.” Mornington Community Information and Support Centre manager Lisa Elliott said: “We have been incredibly hard hit and now have to look to our community to help fund these programs.” Westernport Community Support manager John Fraser – based at Hastings – said: “The reduction in emergency relief funding is extremely disappointing. “The information and support centres provide one of the few safety nets available to the marginalised, vulnerable and financially challenged members of the community. “One of their main roles is to assist those who are most at risk and who are experiencing a shortterm crisis.” For more information or to make a donation to the community support and information centres contact: Southern Peninsula Community Support and Information Centre, 878 Pt Nepean Rd, PO Box
91, Rosebud, 3939, call 5986 1285 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Westernport Community Support, 185 High St, PO Box 93, Hastings, 3915, call 5979 2762 or email: email@example.com Mornington Community Information and Support Centre, 320 Main St, Mornington, 3931, call 5975 1644 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Centre evacuated MORNINGTON Village shopping centre was evacuated on Saturday afternoon 18 July when fumes from concrete paint sealer made shoppers nauseous. “Patrons were complaining and when the CFA took readings they were off the scale,” Sergeant Danny Lean, of Rosebud police, said. About 150 customers and staff retreated to the carpark and the centre remained shut from 4.30pm Saturday to 7.30am Sunday.
Bomb hoax POLICE were called to what turned out to be a bomb hoax in Hyperno Way, Mt Martha, on Saturday afternoon 18 July. Police said three children had left a note saying, “There is a bomb under your car” on a resident’s front door. Nothing was found, but police were obliged to treat the incident seriously and asked residents to move to a safe area. Police have contacted local schools to identify the culprits. Anyone with information can call Mornington police on 5970 4900.
Mornington News 28 July 2015