In hearings today before the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee, Labor’s Minister for Youth, Ros Spence, confirmed the Andrews Labor Government had cut $1 million in funding from the Scouts and Girl Guides.
This is a massive blow to around 20,000 young Victorians engaged in Scouts and Girl Guides, and around 5000 adult volunteers that support them.
Under repeated questioning from Liberal members of the Committee, the Minister for Youth confirmed that spending for youth programs in the 2021-22 Budget had been slashed by $1 million, and that this “cut to the budget” was from Scouts and Girl Guides programs.
The Andrews Labor Government originally announced $5.5 million in funding in the 2019/20 Budget over the forward estimates, with $1.4 million budgeted to be spent in the 2021-22 financial year, but have now revealed the Scouts and Girl Guides will now have that budget slashed by $1 million.
Labor’s Minister also confirmed only 6 of the 19 promised Scout and Girl Guide Halls have actually been completed and could not articulate how much of the promised funds have actually been spent.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Youth, Bridget Vallence:
“Labor’s Youth Minister confirmed categorically today that the Andrews Labor Government has “cut” spending on Victorian youth programs.
“This is a massive blow to around 20,000 Scouts and Girl Guides who have to suffer Labor’s heartless cut of $1 million in their funding.
“This is the worst possible time to be cutting funding to Victorian youth programs, especially to volunteer organisations like the Scouts and Girl Guides who facilitate important programs to support the physical and mental wellbeing of our kids and young adults.
“Scouts and Girls Guides are already doing it tough after the COVID lockdowns and restrictions on community activities and have now been dealt this devastating blow.
“The Andrews Labor Government must immediately come clean and explain where the promised $1 million in funding for Scouts and Girl Guides has gone.
“The Liberal Nationals will always stand up for volunteer organisations like Scouts and Girl Guides to ensure they receive the funding they had been promised.”