Waiting for the minister

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis.
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis. Adam Hourigan

THE fate of the Lower Clarence's only shopfront accommodation service is still in limbo.

State Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis has yet to meet with the Minister for Community Services, Pru Goward, as he tries to win an 11th hour reprieve for Anglicare North Coast's Accommodation Support Service office in Maclean.

Mr Gulaptis said late yesterday he had not been able to speak to the minister as he intended, but would most likely discuss the issue with her today.

He has a letter from Clarence Anglicare executive director Estelle Graham that he wants to present to Ms Goward.

"I think she needs to hear first-hand from Anglicare what they're doing on the Lower River and exactly how tough the situation is," Mr Gulaptis said.

"Personally I think the region's doing it as tough as I've seen it in the 30 years I've lived here."

Mr Gulaptis said he was also looking at another funding avenue, but did not have any details yet.

The service's co-ordinator Jeff Fuller said Anglicare's grant to fund the person manning the Maclean shopfront was gone and unless there was another grant it would close. The office sees around six clients a day or about 936 a year.

It issues electricity and telephone payment assistance vouchers, refers people to other agencies, assesses the risk of homelessness, supports people in Maclean's two transit units and case manages people in various stages of homelessness.

Topics:  chris gulaptis, lower clarence, pru goward



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