Community Resource Centres forced into trainee funds fight: MP

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Geoff VivianMidwest Times
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MP Martin Aldridge at the Gingin Community Resource Centre.
Camera IconMP Martin Aldridge at the Gingin Community Resource Centre. Credit: Martin Aldridge

A National Party MP said Community Resource Centres would be $1.5 million worse off as they would be forced to compete with local governments for trainee funds.

“The McGowan Government is forecasting significantly less funding to centres next year in comparison to last financial year,” Agricultural Region member Martin Aldridge said.

He said it was revealed in Parliament that the traineeship component of the program would be made available to CRCs and to local governments via a competitive application process.

“This has created a unique situation where more than 100 CRCs will have to fight for their trainee funds,” Mr Aldridge said.

“While it is important to have training opportunities across regional WA, CRCs may miss out on much-needed funding as up to 30 local governments could be approved for the allocation of funds.”

Labor MP and fellow Agricultural Region member Darren West said this was “sloppy analysis at best” as his government had created an extra $2 million budget for trainees announced on Wednesday last week.

“The McGowan Government decided to continue to fully fund the program at $13 million per year,” he said.

“There has been no change to the base funding amount of individual CRCs, with existing funding agreements extended until June 30, 2020.”

Mr West said the $2 million a year budget for the traineeship component of the program had not changed, and the traineeship component would be strengthened.

He said this would encourage CRCs to work with local businesses and local governments to get the best outcomes for trainees, and to ensure traineeships were available to regional areas without CRCs.

He accused Mr Aldridge of comparing funding amounts from previous years that include traineeship payments with forecasts for the coming year that did not yet include traineeship payments.

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