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Wednesday, 14th May 2014 at 3:45 pm

Australian Youth Affairs Coalition Defunded

By Staff Reporter,

The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition has been officially de-funded following the release of the Federal Budget.

In April, the long-established national youth peak body, announced the departure of its Executive Director and the planned closing of its national office at the end of June as Federal funding uncertainty continued.

AYAC Chairperson Craig Comrie said that through the release of the Federal Budget Papers and the $3.5 million (57 per cent) reduction in the Federal Youth Engagement budget and the $13.2 million reduction in Department of Education Grant Programs, the organisation had been told officially that their funding agreement would not be extended by the Department of Education.

“While this has come as no surprise, it is nonetheless disappointing that the Federal Government is not willing or able to provide financial backing for the work of the national peak body for youth affairs,” Comrie said.

“Now, more than ever, we need a strong voice for young Australians and the sector that supports them – with significant reductions in funding for youth programs such as Youth Connections and increases in welfare restrictions for young people up to 30 years, including six months without any benefits before they are eligible for Work for the Dole.

“AYAC will continue its important work as an independent national voice for youth affairs advocating freely – but it needs public support to continue.”

He said the organisation had already prepared a new sustainable organisational model to be further developed.

“While this is a very low cost model, even an oily rag costs something,” he said.

He said the Board was looking to raise seed funding to pay for the National Coordinator for two months and to enable the new model to be established.

A website has been established to help raise the funds. Go to www.chuffed.org/project/support-ayacs-future

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