Spooner concerned about cuts to community services

LABOR candidate for Ballina, Paul Spooner, said he is concerned about the cuts to local community services and is encouraging residents to support tomorrow's protest rally.

"Due to changes in state and federal funding front line community services are being slashed on the north coast," Mr Spooner said.

"I will be leading a Convoy of Concern from Byron Bay to Lismore to support the Save Our Community Services rally on Wednesday 4 March.

"I am concerned about the dramatic effect on people's lives here on the north coast due to the funding cuts that are happening at an escalating rate to long term community service organisations.

"The Byron Community Centre has seen funding lost for its Emergency Relief program. The Emergency Relief service has been delivered through the centre for 30 years. 

"St Vincent De Paul have had their Emergency Relief funding cut by 70%.

"We have lost emergency accommodation for our youth and adults, as the Byron Emergency Accommodation Project (BEAP) and the Byron Youth House have lost funding.

"Byron Youth Service, the primary provider of youth services in the Byron Shire, has also lost major funding that includes Youth Connections and Links to Learning programs.

"On top of this, there is no longer face-to-face services at Centrelink in Byron Bay."

"A small bus has been organized for those who cannot drive. I am also encouraging car sharing.

"We will meet 11:30am on Wednesday 4 March at the Byron Community Centre to drive together for the rally starting 1pm in Lismore."