My question is to the Minister for Families and Children and Minister for Youth Affairs in the other place. I ask: when will the government follow through with its pre-election commitment and increase support to neighbourhood houses?
Labor’s election platform said it would invest in community infrastructure such as community centres and neighbourhood houses and support the expansion of the neighbourhood house network, but to date nothing has happened. Figures show that for every dollar invested in neighbourhood houses, the return is somewhere in the line of $5 to $6.
But there has not been a whole of sector funding boost since 2006, and indexation is not keeping up with CPI, meaning about $1.3 million of costs are not being covered. Neighbourhood houses provide a huge range of programs and services to the community and help people feel included and supported.
Their role would have to be picked up by the government if the houses did not exist, thus increasing costs to taxpayers. Minister, when will Labor follow through with its election platform and increase support to this worthy and valuable service?