The State Government has deserted the Busselton community.
The People Place, Busselton has been rejected in the recent state government’s ‘Empowering Communities Program’. This will mean the closure of the Centre in June 2020 unless we act now.
The government has nominated two centres in Bunbury, one in Bridgetown, one in Manjimup and one in Northcliffe to represent the total community of the South West Region. This, despite the fact that the total populations of these selected centres is only 40,173, while Busselton’s population is expected to significantly exceed that number by 2020. Under the Minister’s plan, there will not be a Community Centre in Busselton within 50 kilometers.
The Minister expects the Busselton community to travel to Bunbury, Bridgetown, Manjimup or Northcliffe
for the services we now offer here, services that are specifically designed for this community’s needs.
In recent correspondence the Minister stated she was, “Confident that those organisations chosen will
provide the services required to meet the needs of families and communities within the South West
Region.” Minister you are out of touch!
Closure will mean: No consultation, referral or facilitation for Post Natal issues in Busselton; no meeting
place for over 40 community groups; no central place for the community to share information and and connect; No place to resolve loneliness in the manner we currently apply. no programs to cover community needs; no early playgroup for our children. The Minister’s answer to solving problems of loneliness is for those folk to drive kilometres for programs, which are not designed for our community and are band aid solutions only.
In the letter advising us of the failure of Busselton to be part of the program, the Department, somewhat
understandingly acknowledged, “There may be a gap in service delivery in Busselton”. That gap ignores the
community needs of every resident in Busselton. The Department further committed to “Engage” with The
People Place to consider a new strategy. When questioned, visiting representatives of the Department,
could not tell us what this meant.
The Centre has operated successfully for more than 25 years and has helped thousands of Busselton
people. This abandonment of a community as large as Busselton by this state government, is a clear
indication it is not interested in the well being of our community, nor its people.