Keith Pitt announces two-year grant for Bumblebees

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt today announced $281,460 over two years for Phoenix House to continue delivering the Bumblebees Therapeutic Preschool program.

Mr Pitt said the funding was a direct result of his strong advocacy over several months, and thanked Minister for Social Services Scott Morrison for heeding Hinkler residents’ concerns.

“The grant Phoenix House previously received from the Department of Social Services (DSS) expired in February. Phoenix House applied for another grant but was unsuccessful. DSS had received more 5,500 grant applications nationally totalling $3.9 Billion, for a grants program worth $800 Million,” Mr Pitt said.

“In early February, the Minister agreed to provide bridging funding until June 30 to give Phoenix House time to identify an alternative source of funding. It also enabled the Government to address critical frontline service gaps that emerged in the competitive tender process.

“Earlier this month the Minister announced the Coalition Government would provide an additional $40 Million for DSS grants between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2017. I’m grateful Phoenix House is one of the 94 organisations that have been selected.

“We are fortunate to have a unique program like Bumblebees in Hinkler, which provides therapy to children between the ages of three and five years, who have experienced harm.

“The grant I have announced today will fund the ongoing operation of Bumblebees until 30 June 2017. I welcome the State Government’s decision earlier this month to also provide $400,000 over 18 months for a collaborative research project between Bumblebees and Central Queensland University to build parenting skills, examine the program’s effectiveness on the whole and to expand the preschool to cater for families of children aged 0-3 years.”

Phoenix House Director Kathy Prentice thanked Mr Pitt for his persistence.

“We are absolutely delighted for the children and their families that we can continue to operate this service,” Ms Prentice said.       

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