FUNDS BOOST: Minister for Sport Bridget McKenzie, Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd and Wendy Morris from GAPDL Communities for Children at the Gladstone PCYC for a $2.5 million grant to help Gladstone PCYC expand its footprint and services.
FUNDS BOOST: Minister for Sport Bridget McKenzie, Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd and Wendy Morris from GAPDL Communities for Children at the Gladstone PCYC for a $2.5 million grant to help Gladstone PCYC expand its footprint and services. MATT HARRIS

Multi-million-dollar promise for youth and families

YOUNG people and families in the Flynn electorate are set to receive a $5.1 million boost regardless of Saturday's federal election outcome.

The three-pronged funding package is for more support services for young people in different areas of Flynn.

It includes $1.7 million for a coordinated support program for disadvantaged children and families in Gladstone, a share of up to $3.6 million over two years for a Cathy Freeman Foundation education program in Woorabinda and  $2.5 million  to help Gladstone PCYC expand its footprint and services.

Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd said the PCYC grant  would help the Gladstone branch of the organisation provide even more recreational and social activities for local residents and sporting groups.

Mr O'Dowd had previously delivered $250,000 to help develop a business case for the PCYC expansion and $200,000 to help install solar panels and battery storage at the site.

"As a much-loved hub for sporting and community activities, these funds are a strong investment in the future of the Gladstone region and the young people who live here," Mr O'Dowd said.

"It means the PCYC will be able to do a proper 'bricks and mortar' job to reconfigure and increase the size of its layout, creating more room for user groups, including sports groups."

Mr O'Dowd was joined at the announcement by Victorian Senator and minister for sport Bridget McKenzie, who described the Flynn MP as "the bulldog of Central Queensland".

"As sports minister I want to see more Australians more active more often," Senator McKenzie said.

"Investing in this facility will give local people, particularly young people, a facility they need to get out and get active."

Meanwhile, Gladstone will be one of 10 communities in Australia to receive $1.7 million under the Federal Government's Stronger Places, Stronger People initiative, which will be used to coordinate support for local disadvantaged children and families.

"I want to see our young people reach their full potential, and Gladstone has been chosen because of evidence of entrenched disadvantage in the area," Mr O'Dowd said.

"The money will go to one of our existing service providers, yet to be determined, so they can work with other organisations to focus on the needs of individual children and families.

"It will bring practical service delivery improvements so children and their families are put in touch with the right services at the right time."

GAPDL Communities for Children executive officer Wendy Morris said the announcement was very exciting for the region and would help support children and families.

Mr O'Dowd also locked in a grant to the Cathy Freeman Foundation, which will see Woorabinda share in $3.6 million over two years to improve education outcomes in the community.

"The program aims to boost school attendance, behaviour and literacy - improving the outlook for kids and giving them new opportunities in life," Mr O'Dowd said.

"A good quality education is the best way to guarantee all Aussie kids have the best possible start in life, reach their full potential, and give them a pathway to future study, training or employment."
 



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