31 August, 2022
After hours youth cafe shuts shop
MAREEBA has lost an important tool in the fight against youth crime after the Mareeba PCYC Pulse Café was forced to close in the wake of youth misbehaving at the centre and an attempted break-in.
Facebook post by the Mareeba PCYC cited poor behaviour by some youth and an attempted break-in is what forced the café to close, however, in response to questions asked by The Express, PCYC Queensland maintained the café was closed while “staffing and funding are reviewed”.
The centre has previously been plagued by a volunteer problem since the café opened, closing multiple times due to a lack of volunteers.
Unlike other youth centres of its kind, the Pulse Café only has one funded position in Sergeant Mary-Anne West who also has other duties outside of the café.
By comparison, the Mossman Youth Centre has three fully funded positions dedicated to their youth centre, funded through the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women.
Other community members and organisations in Mareeba have been running their own programs to support youth without any funding support from the government like the Mareeba Uniting Church and Chillagoe Cultural Camps.
Mareeba Shire Council Mayor Angela Toppin has been known to occasionally roll up her sleeves and donate her time at the centre.
“I am extremely disappointed (in the cafe’s closure) because Mary-Anne runs an excellent program there and whenever I can get down there myself to volunteer I do,” Cr Toppin said.
Council will fully support any organisation like the PCYC or others to apply for funding to run programs like the Pulse Café.
“We are very focused on providing programs for young people at this time – we fully supported the application by Mareeba Community Centre for their two new youth workers,” Cr Toppin said.
“We will always seek to support anything that will add value in terms of youth programs in this town.” Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the café was not closing permanently and would actually be reopened at the end of August.
“I acknowledge the concerns of the community regarding Pulse Café however, the Pulse Cafe has not closed,” she said.
“The centre has shut for a temporary period and will reopen towards the end of August.
“I commend PCYC Mareeba Youth Club Manager Mary-Anne West and her team for their outstanding work and ongoing service to the community.”
Ms Lui did not answer specific questions in relation to funding for programs like the Pulse Café and why Mossman has access to funding