Feb 12, 2003

Government confirms – youth funding botched

Government Confirms – Youth Funding Botched

Joint Media Release:
Anthony Albanese MP, Shadow Minster for Employment Services and Training, and
Nicola Roxon MP, Shadow Minister for Children and Youth

12 February 2003

Today in the Senate Estimates hearings the Secretary of the Department of Family and Community Services confirmed that the Government had indeed botched the funding round for the vital Job Placement, Employment and Training Program (JPET).

This effective program supports young homeless Australians back into education and training and is often the only support service available to these young people.

Mr Albanese and Ms Roxon were very concerned late last year when numerous community agencies across the country appealed to Labor to lobby the Government to review the decision.

Over 70 JPET services had received letters from the Department informing them that they would no longer be receiving funding and would have to close their doors on December 31 last year.

The ALP and the community organisations were very concerned about how this would impact on the future prospects of the young people assisted by JPET and called upon the Minister for Children and Youth to overturn the decision as quickly as possible.

The Minister refused to do this and decided to hold a review that left the young people and the JPET workers extremely anxious about their future over the whole Christmas New Year break.

The review has cost the Department to date $218,000 – this is almost the same amount it costs to run two JPET services for a year!

All this cost, time and effort –but still no security for JPET workers and the young people they support because the Minister still refuses to guarantee the program.