September 13, 2017
A program which aims to provide opportunities for young people to become positively involved in their community instead of turning to crime, will be piloted in Cherbourg.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Mark Furner said the project was a Queensland first.
It would aim to reduce property crime committed by young people and their contact with the youth justice system.
“We know that finding fun, constructive things for young people to spend their time on is a key factor in setting them on a positive path for the future,” Mr Furner said.
“I’m pleased the State Government has allocated around $220,000 to Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council over two years to develop and expand after-school and weekend sport and recreational activities for young people.
“This funding will support the Council to employ a sports co-ordinator, enabling them to deliver positive initiatives led by the community.
“Importantly, this funding will be contingent on achieving agreed outcomes, so we can all work together towards a common goal.”
Mr Furner said the pilot program would support community-led actions which would not only improve well-being, but also produce savings through less demand on government-funded services.
Those savings would be reinvested locally, through “incentive payments” which would then provide an income stream to deliver more locally identified priorities.
“Once the community has achieved the agreed targets, the Council will use their incentive funding to employ a sports co-ordinator for another year.
“The pilot will build stronger partnerships between communities and government and will include engaging local people to support the evaluation of the program.”
Cherbourg Mayor Arnold Murray said he welcomed the initiative to support local ideas about engaging and inspiring Cherbourg’s young people.
“As a community we are coming to together so our children and young people can experience an active, happy and positive way of life,” Cr Murray said.
“This program will help our community put ideas into practice so our kids can enjoy safe and supervised sports and activities on the weekends and after-school.”
Cherbourg Ministerial “champion” Dr Anthony Lynham said he was pleased to see the initiative underway.
“The Mayor and I share a view that the young people of Cherbourg are the future and they must be supported to make good choices,” Dr Lynham said.
Cherbourg Council will work with the Departments of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships; Education and Training; Justice and Attorney-General; National Parks, Sport and Racing; police and the South Burnett PCYC.