Letter submitted to the NewsMail on 22 January, 2015.
I am writing to assure the people of Bundaberg that I have been working to identify an alternative source of funding for Bumblebees Therapeutic Preschool.
The preschool’s operator, Phoenix House, first contacted my office on January 7 to advise that their Federal Government funding would expire in February and that their application for new funding was unsuccessful.
I contacted the Federal Minister for Social Services and State Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey to see if there was another way we could fund this unique program.
I knew that Mr Dempsey had already helped save the service once before, when Bumblebees’ Federal funding expired in 2009.
In fact, the LNP State Government has provided $2.3 million to Phoenix House to deliver a range of invaluable programs and services to the Bundaberg community.
Together, Mr Dempsey and I have been working behind the scenes – and not in front of the TV cameras – to try to address this issue.
It is important for your readers to know that the Federal Department of Social Service received more than 5,500 grant applications nationally totalling $3.9 Billion, for a grants program with about $800 Million available.
When demand for a funding program is this high, unfortunately, someone always misses out.
I am a father of three young children, and I understand you can’t put a price on a service like Bumblebees!
Keith Pitt MP
Federal Member for Hinkler