Labor candidate for Summer Hill Councillor Jo Haylen has welcomed news that a number of inner city women’s shelters will continue to operate, as the Liberals reverse a decision to strip funding – but says this funding must also be restored to other services facing closure in Summer Hill and across the state.
The decision follows ongoing pressure from local organisations, the wider community and NSW Labor after many specialist providers – including some that have been operating for decades – lost funding in the controversial Going Home, Staying Home tender process.
Clr Haylen said while it was fantastic to see these inner city refuges saved, there are still a number of shelters facing closure that desperately need funding.
“The SOS Women’s Services campaign has done a tremendous job bringing the community’s attention to the fact that these safe havens for women were facing closure, and I want to congratulate them on their hard work,” Clr Haylen said.
“The Liberals have finally responded to community outrage and done the right thing for these inner city shelters.
"It's been a true grassroots campaign and I'm proud of the role Marrickville Council and other inner city councils have played in bringing this about," Clr Haylen said.
Clr Haylen said it was now imperative the Baird Government extended funding to other shelters at risk of closing down
“Places like Innari Housing and Marrickville Women’s refuge are on transitional funding arrangements from a Service Support Fund,” Clr Haylen said.
“Essentially a stay of execution, the additional funding gives organisations time to wind down and is a stop gap measure.
“The fact that providers originally knocked back are now receiving funding only underscores problems with the original tender process – and reveals that even the government acknowledges it is flawed.
“This botched reform program has left providers and clients in a state of uncertainty – it is an absolute disgrace, and the women relying on these refuges are the ones hit the hardest,” Clr Haylen said.