Mental health funding pledged

WHILE support for youth mental health has received a boost, South West provider headspace has said the accessibility of services still needed to be a priority.

The Turnbull Government announced headspace’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation would receive a $30 million boost as part of a $110 million funding initiative to extend and expand mental health programs for young Australians.

Close to 3000 young people have been supported on more than 17,500 occasions since headspace Bunbury opened in January 2013.

Busselton and Bunbury headspace clinical leader Yvonne Stanes said the number of people accessing the service continued to increase by an extra 100 young people every year.

“Any increase in funding will enable services to expand and more young people being supported,” she said.

“We do have anecdotal feedback from young people that they are not able to access youth friendly mental health support as travelling to Bunbury is not an option for them due to cost and practical barriers.” Until the creation of the headspace satellite service in Busselton, the Bunbury office was the service provider for the whole South West.

For youth in towns such as Collie and Margaret River, the nearest headspace is still a 40 minute commute.

Relationships Australia WA family mental health services is the lead agency for Busselton and Bunbury headspace.

Senior manager Janalie Nelson reiterated the need for accessibility.

“We need to make it as easy as possible for young people to access the support they need and even 40 minutes of travel could be a real barrier for them,” she said.

“It is very encouraging that youth mental health is regarded as a priority on a national level and that this is filtering through in an increase in funding and hopefully an increase in youth friendly mental health services becoming available for young people in the South West.”

Forrest MP Nola Marino has been advocate for more mental health support in the electorate and said she wanted to see more services in the South West.

“I fought to get a headspace in Bunbury and now in Busselton. I’m now fighting to open a centre in Margaret River,” she said.

If you are experiencing depression or are suicidal, or know someone who is, help is available.

Lifeline: 13 11 44 Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

Source: Busselton Dunsborough Mail.

Colourful run to raise money for school

IT is time to show your true colours in support of Harvey Primary School.

The school’s P&C is holding a Colour Fun Run fundraiser on February 24 and is offering an earlybird registration special.

“If people register for the Colour Fun Run before February 1, they’ll receive a free colour pack on the day,” P&C president Jon Adams said.

The aim of the fundraiser is to provide much-needed equipment necessary for this year’s curriculum.

“Like other public schools, from this year on Harvey Primary School is obliged to report on the teaching and progress of digital technologies, such as coding,” Mr Adams said.

“The Department of Education has given the school a small number of iPads and other technologies to utilise, but with a school community of around 350 these go no way towards adequately teaching this vital curriculum area.”

The school executive approached the P&C asking them to fundraise towards the purchase of more equipment.

“The P&C have set themselves an ambitious $20,000 target to meet this request,” Mr Adams said.

“A number of large fundraisers are planned and $5000 has already been donated by the P&C, enabling the school to purchase six new iPads and associated items for immediate use.”

The Colour Fun Run is the biggest of the planned fundraisers, and is set to become a communitywide event with Forrest MHR Nola Marino and Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke already confirming their attendance, and local business getting behind the event.

“Harvey Beef, Harvey Fresh, Tiny Holly auctioneer and Summit Realty South West have all helped sponsor this great community event,” Mr Adams said.

People can register online at www.mycause.com.au/events/ colourfunrunharvey or by contacting the P&C at pandcassociation.hps@gmail.com.

Source: Harvey-Waroona Reporter.

Marino protecting our Cockatoos

Member for Forrest Nola Marino congratulates the Blackwood Basin Group for securing a grant through the Turnbull Government’s 20 Million Trees program.

Mrs Marino said the grant will transform low economic value farmland in Balingup into conservation value habitat for native plants and animals.

“This will protect the endangered Carnaby’s Cockatoo, and the vulnerable Baudin’s and Forrest Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos,” Mrs Marino said.

“The area is also known to be habitat for the vulnerable Chudich, Numbat and Western Ringtail Possum. A total area of 13.11 ha will be protected by installing 422m of fencing, converting an existing dam into a wetland, and planting 8,450 native seedlings.

“The creation of a wetland may also have the added benefit of encouraging waterbirds, such as the critically endangered Australasian Bittern, and the state priority listed Little Bittern and Black Bittern.”

Mrs Marino said Blackwood Basin Group has received over $34,000 to the Caring for Our Cockys project.

The project is part of the Liberal-led Government’s commitment to plant 20 million trees across Australia by 2020.

Times 2017 in review

AN online funding estimator has revealed which South West schools will benefit most from the newlyreleased Gonski 2.0 education package.

The Federal Government launched the estimator last week, showing funding to Australian primary and secondary schools set to swell from $17.5 billion in 2017 to $30.6 billion by 2027.

Of the nationwide boost, Forrest MHR Nola Marino said $27.1 million would be invested in the electorate’s schools in the next four years.

Source: South Western Times.

Rise in home holidays

TOURISM THE South West tourism industry continues to experience steady growth, according to a survey on the holiday habits of Australians.

The National Visitor Survey revealed record numbers of Australians are choosing to holiday at home, with the number of overnight trips, number of nights stayed and spending all soaring.

In the South West, 2,982,000 Australian tourists visited the region in 2017.

The figures are a 2 per cent increase in the past year, and are up 11 per cent in the past three years.

The survey also showed tourists stayed 9,758,000 nights and spent $1,637,000 in that period.

Member for Forrest Nola Marino said the survey results provided great news for local businesses.

“More travellers coming to the South West means a boost for our local economy and more local jobs,” she said.

“Our beautiful region is drawing tourists in droves with our stunning attractions and effective tourism operators,” she said.

Mrs Marino said the investment in the Busselton Margaret River Airport would pave the way for even more tourists as well as freight options.

In more good news for the region, the study showed Australians are getting outside more for their holidays.

Visits to national parks, bushwalking, water-based activities and sports all experience a percentage hike between nine and 12 per cent.

The National Visitor Survey follows the strong tourism growth shown in the International Visitor Survey, which revealed 166,000 international tourists visited the region, staying 2,237,000 nights and spending $1,450,000 over the same period.

On a national scale, overnight trips by Australians grew by seven per cent and the number of nights stayed by six per cent.

Federal minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo said the record number of international visitors and Australians holidaying at home was fantastic for the tourism industry.

“It’s a $100 billion plus gift to our economy and all the small businesses that rely on a thriving tourism industry,” he said.

Source: Busselton Dunsborough Mail.