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Thursday, 27 March 2014
Page: 3397


Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (13:54): I rise today to speak about a very important issue in my local community, and that is the Abbott government's failure to recommit to funding for Youth Connections providers which runs out at the end of this year. Our Youth Connections program, which was created by the former Labor government in 2010, provides a crucial support network for young people in my local area. The program provides one-on-one support to help young people overcome barriers which make it difficult to participate in school or training.

Workskil runs the Youth Connections program in my electorate in Hallett Cove and supports many very vulnerable young people in our local area. Nicole Dwyer from Workskil has told me she holds deep concerns about these young people's futures if the government scraps the funding. Nicole says that the young people in their program may be homeless, not eating, victims of physical or mental abuse or have mental health or drug and alcohol issues. Importantly, this program provides support for these young people and their parents, and also provides a pathway into employment.

Nicole says that often the youth workers, as part of this program, are in emergency departments at night dealing with young people in crisis, and their program is very critical to preventing youth suicide. I call on the Abbott government to commit to ongoing funding for the Youth Connections program to get these vulnerable young people and their carers support and hope for the future. (Time expired)