The State Government says the reason Carnarvon’s Target 120 program is yet to get off the ground nine months on is because the procurement process is an important step for the program to have “any chance at success”. After the State last month claimed the Target 120 program would “soon” be running in Carnarvon when enough staff were recruited, the Government aren’t budging on their response. Carnarvon shire president Eddie Smith said he wasn’t seeing anything on the ground that indicated it would work and referred to the ongoing youth crime in Geraldton. “It’s just not happening, yes I’ve been told they’re having trouble recruiting people but if that’s not going to happen what else do they have and how will they lower the crime in Carnarvon,” he said. “It’s hard for me to comment on something that isn’t here.” The McGowan Government announced in last year’s Budget an $11 million expansion of the program to nine new locations, including Carnarvon, which is still not operating nine months later. “The program is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each individual Target 120 location has its own unique requirements, which we’re working through to make sure the right service provider with the right local knowledge and relationships with the community are appointed,” a State Government spokesperson said. “It’s important for this process to happen for the program to have any chance at success.” Target 120 aims to support youth aged 10 to 14-years-old and their families and create safer communities and is being rolled out to 15 sites across WA, including Carnarvon. A State Government spokesperson said a Community Youth Officer was employed and has been working in Carnarvon, while a Local Interagency Group was set up to start identifying young people and families for the program. “A procurement process for Carnarvon is being finalised and the site will be operational soon,” they said. “Communities, along with the Shire of Carnarvon, co-chair regular community focused meetings as a sub-committee of the district leadership group to engage with high-risk youth who are not attending school, are involved in crime, and have little or no links with support agencies.” The State Government said the Department of Communities had a strong presence in Carnarvon and the Housing and Child Protection staff were “very engaged” with agencies and stakeholders.