Funding failure: No money for Griffith Post School Options

RIVERINA MP Michael McCormack delivered bad news face-to-face with staff, clients and supporters of Griffith Post School Options (GPSO) on Friday.

Mr McCormack told a jam-packed crowd the inadequate facility would not receive funding promised by the former Labor government until at least 2015 once they reapplied under a new scheme.

The Area News has previously reported GPSO management believed they were in line for a bipartisan $500,000 grant until the Coalition government pulled the pin.

Mr McCormack said the Labor government's promise was dependant on revenue from the mining tax, which grossly underdelivered.

“I’m sorry I haven’t come with a chequebook because I can see these are crammed conditions and I can see you need a better facility,” he said.

“It’s very tough to be the bearer of bad news but unfortunately the money that was promised is not there at the moment.

“I’m the first to acknowledge this area needs these types of facilities but this isn’t the only facility I have had to disappoint.”

GPSO will expand its clientele by around 30 per cent next year and was expecting to move to a new facility on Olympic Street, Griffith.

Mr McCormack said former minister for regional Australia Catherine King was reckless in allocating the regional funding.

“If Labor had won the election, they would be in dire straits funding it,” he said.

“A new fund will be introduced in 2015 to take the place of the regional development fund although the criteria hasn’t yet been established and hopefully GPSO will be successful in their proposal.”

GPSO service manager Roy Catanzariti said the facility needed money immediately and 2015 would be too late.

“We appreciate Michael McCormack coming down here but it doesn’t seem like there is much money coming to Griffith any time soon,” he said.

“We are asking for less than dollar-for-dollar thanks to donations we’ve already received which goes to show how huge the local support is and how much we need this funding.

“We have already raised 60 per cent of the necessary funds, there aren’t too many organisations that can say that.”

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