30 October 2007

$2 Million for home in Queanbeyan

The Treasurer and Liberal MP for Eden-Monaro, Gary Nairn, today announced that a re-elected Coalition Government will contribute $2 million to building a safe, supportive home in Queanbeyan to care for the homeless and mentally ill.

Home in Queanbeyan (HOME) is a charitable organisation, which has a vision to address social isolation for about 100 people who are living with chronic mental illness in Queanbeyan and the adjoining region.

A parcel of land in central Queanbeyan has been identified and HOME is negotiating with the traditional owners of the land, who have also indicated in principle support for HOME.HOME is actively raising funds for this building project, with capital costs estimated at $3.3 million and this contribution will allow them to achieve their goal more quickly.

The Australian Government has committed unprecedented levels of funding to improve the way we respond to mental illness in Australia, including an additional $1.9 billion over five years through the COAG National Action Plan on Mental Health 2006-2011.

Gary Nairn welcomed the funding announcement:

“I'm proud that a re-elected Coalition Government will provide the funds to help bring this worthwhile community project to fruition,” he said.

“Mental health is a major issue in Australia.Nearly one in five Australians will experience a significant mental health problem at some stage in their lives.There are even higher levels of mental health problems among young adults.The impact is felt by families across Australia and touches all parts of our community.

“Our commitment to contribute $2 million to building a new facility will provide a venue for HOME to continue to provide on-going education programs to raise awareness about mental illness; more efficient co-ordination and delivery of support services; reduced impost on hospitals and assistance for residents to seek appropriate employment and take up suitable hobbies.

“I congratulate the people of HOME, especially Father Peter Day and members of the board, for their ongoing work in raising community awareness about mental illness, working with those in need in our local community and getting the project to this point,” Mr Nairn said.