29 August, 2023
$5m for new Mareeba PCYC
MAREEBA will get a new PCYC after the State Government announced it would provide $5 million toward a new building in a bid to help the town’s at-risk youth and reduce crime.
It is not yet known where the new building will be located, with PCYC chief executive officer Phil Schultz advising the organisation will work with Mareeba Shire Council to identify possible suitable sites.
Currently, the organisation operates out of an old building in Walsh Street.
Describing the $5 million in seed funding as a “substantial new commitment” from the Queensland Government, Mr Schultz said PCYC would now set about determining the estimated cost for the building and would seek additional funding sources needed to bring the project to life.
“The new club will be designed with an emphasis on providing a purpose-built space for the delivery of youth programs, Drop In and After Dark activities,” he said.
“Construction of these spaces will provide the opportunity for increased program delivery as well as great safe spaces for the young people of the Mareeba community to take part in sport and recreation activities, access mentoring and open a pathway to referral services.”
The project has been welcomed by Mareeba Mayor Angela Toppin.
“Mareeba Shire Council appreciates this substantial investment into Mareeba PCYC and the difference it will make to our community and at-risk youth,” she said.
“I have advocated fiercely alongside Member for Cook Cynthia Lui to the State and Federal Government for additional resources for the Mareeba PCYC.
“I would like to thank the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for Police and Corrective Services Mark Ryan for the extraordinary investment in the youth of Mareeba.”
Mayor Toppin lauded the PCYC for the programs the organisation offers and was hopeful the new centre would expand its ability to help at-risk youth and improve community safety.
“The Mareeba PCYC has been running in Mareeba and our surrounding communities for over 10 years and during this time they have supported countless young people and their families to make better choices,” she said.
“The PCYC already delivers many wonderful activities including outreach activities at local parks, support for young people after school and the sharing of information about social services available in our area.
“I am excited about the prospect of a new facility for Mareeba for the use of our at-risk youth.
Addressing youth crime is a complex issue and ultimately this facility will benefit residents by improving community safety.”
Mr Schultz said PCYC Queensland was committed to running prevention, intervention and diversionary programs, many of which targeted engagement with disengaged and or at-risk young people.
“Youth development Crime prevention Community engagement Programs can be transformative for the young people that take part,” he said.
“PCYC programs engage young people at various stages of their journey through life. For some this might take the form of involvement in one program for others it could mean following a route that offers support and skills, and opportunities as they need it.
“The important thing is that regardless of their situation young people are provided with the opportunity to take control of their life and, if needed, change their story.”
He said programs such as PCYC’s mentor driving program “Braking the Cycle” had provided the support needed for more than 4,600 young people to gain a licence.
“This can really make a difference in rural areas such as Mareeba, where driving can be a necessity to gain work and social inclusion,” Mr Schultz said.
“After Dark activities such as Pulse Café, also support at risk youth by providing a safe place to engage in positive activity and build relationships with Queensland police officers, gain access to mentoring and referral services.”
The $5 million funding for Mareeba is part of a $50 million funding program by the State Government to upgrade existing PCYC facilities or to build new ones.
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the work PCYCs did was critical.
“We know police work hand in hand with PCYC Queensland to turn the lives around of many young Queenslanders,” he said.
“Youth intervention and diversionary programs are critical to breaking the cycle of youth crime and the PCYC has a long-standing reputation in delivering effective programs which lead to community re-engagement, employment and study.”