At a time most of us were at lunch yesterday, I received a call from SHOUT confirming that the ACT Government had backflipped on its refusal to provide funding.
The funding that’s been promised is “transitional funding” for 12 months and will include some “funding to allow [SHOUT] to look at a new business model”.
I welcome the ACT Government’s decision to finally see reason, listen to the community and to commit to funding SHOUT.
My sincerest thanks goes out to the numerous community organisations that have persevered through unnecessary angst and uncertainty whilst the ACT Government waited until it clearly became untenable to continue to refuse to fund SHOUT.
Whilst I am, like many other Canberrans, very happy to hear that the ACT Government has now committed to funding SHOUT, we are still without full details of what this funding entails.
In questions asked in the Assembly yesterday, the Minister refused or was unable to provide any further detail about this new promised funding: the amount, what conditions (if any) that the funding is subject to, what “new business model” the Government is asking SHOUT to adopt.
Only a week ago, the ACT Government categorically denied any responsibility for funding SHOUT. The ACT Government has now done a backflip but provided no explanation of why, even when offered the opportunity to do so.
In the absence of more detail on why, all of a sudden, there’s been a change of heart, we can only speculate that the heat from the public was too strong on this important community issue. And that reason alone may be enough.
I stood up to give voice to the countless Canberrans who would have felt the tragic impacts of SHOUT’s closure and I will continue to give my voice to these Canberrans to make sure that this promised funding does what it should – look after our most vulnerable.