“FARAWAY bureaucrats” have been blamed for a federal funding cut to Bathurst’s migrant support services, with Calare MP Andrew Gee vowing to fight to find a solution.
The $80,000 funding cut has cost The Neighbourhood Centre one employee whose job it was to respond to migrant issues.
Under the changes, funding for Orange City Council’s migrant services has also been reduced, but the area the support worker must cover has been increased to take in Bathurst.
But Mr Gee has distanced himself from the decision, saying he was not consulted before the federal funding was cut.
“I was appalled to recently learn that funding for migrant support services at Bathurst’s Neighbourhood Centre had been cut,” Mr Gee said in a statement.
“It’s a decision that was frustratingly taken by faraway bureaucrats who claimed that numbers had dropped but was made with little appreciation for the practical difficulties in chopping and changing providers, the subsequent drop in the level of local service or the distances that people have to travel to get support in the country.”
Mr Gee said he met last week with The Neighbourhood Centre, mayor Graeme Hanger and council general manager David Sherley “to get to the bottom of what happened and try to find a solution”, and had called on Families and Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher to take urgent action to retain the migrant support worker.
“The minister has assured me that he is working on it and I’ll keep the community posted on developments,” Mr Gee said.