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Community programs slashed in state budget
Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren has questioned the ending of a community environment grants program that managed community groups and volunteers across the state.
The Environment Minister could not provide an answer in Parliament in regards to the estimated value of volunteers and community groups that fell to the wayside with the budget slash.
“Cutting this program, which successfully facilitated a vast array of volunteers and community groups, is completely nonsensical. Volunteers that looked after our state and assisted in conservation will now have to be replaced by workers hired out of taxpayer’s money, otherwise this important work won't be done.
“The Minister described the program as running successfully for the past four years, why has it come to a grinding halt? The money spent on the program is surely earned back by the programs that it ran and the volunteers it managed”.
Despite Minister Marmion insisting that thousands of volunteers will continue to maintain conservation in WA, Ms MacLaren remained unconvinced, ‘a lot of these specific community groups gave a sense of worth to volunteers and targeted different areas of conservation. A non-volunteer scheme, won't be as cost effective or efficient’.