Greens condemn withdrawal of funding from Sunflower Centre

The Greens Federal Candidates for Newcastle and Shortland today condemned the withdrawal of funding for the Sunflower Centre.

“The Sunflower Centre is a not-for-profit organisation which has been supporting people living with any mental illness, their families, friends, and the wider community in the Hunter Region for many years.  Funding for this essential work should not be cut, it should be increased,” said Greens Candidate for Newcastle Cr Michael Osborne.

“The State Coalition government is short-changing Newcastle yet again by not renewing the funding of the Sunflower Centre. This withdrawal of funding will cause the centre to close – removing, in some towns, the only support for families dealing with mental illness,” said Greens Candidate for Newcastle Cr Michael Osborne.

“If the super profits mining tax was fixed, we’d be able to fund the Sunflower Centre and other Hunter health services directly from the Federal Government,” said Greens Candidate for Newcastle Cr Michael Osborne.

“The Sunflower Centre has been working within the Hunter community for more than 10 years supported by their great volunteers,” said the Greens Candidate for Shortland Jane Oakley.

“The Sunflower Centre offers an Outreach Service with trained volunteers available to telephone people on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis. This Outreach Service along with their ‘Drop In’ Centre and their One on One Support service are essential services for many people,” said the Greens Candidate for Shortland Jane Oakley.

“Their community rehabilitation program in Morisset is so successful that there are calls for it to be expanded,” said the Greens Candidate for Shortland Jane Oakley.

“Access to health services like mental health care should be getting easier for people.  Instead, it is getting harder and adding to the pressure felt in people’s everyday lives.  The Coalition State Government and the Labor Federal Government have again shown that they don’t care about our communities,” said the Greens Candidate for Shortland Jane Oakley.

“It is our duty to stand up for those families in our community who need help,” said Greens Candidate for Newcastle Cr Michael Osborne.

“This is another sorry example of the big parties turning their backs on the most vulnerable in our society,” said Greens Candidate for Newcastle Cr Michael Osborne.

“The state government needs to stop pulling the funding rug from under the Sunflower Centre. The service they provide is too important and ongoing in the Hunter for that kind of treatment. The only long term solution to this penny-pinching by the state government is to have this important mental health service funded from federal revenues. Specifically, from revenue from a well constructed mining tax, ending tax breaks to the mining corporations, a millionaires’ tax and a public support levy on the big banks,” said Greens Candidate for Newcastle Cr Michael Osborne.

Contact      Jane Oakley on 0401 867 080 Greens Candidate for Shortland or

                Michael Osborne on 0439 442 984 Greens Candidate for Newcastle

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