Donato to MPs: "Join me to save Lifeline Central West"
The press release announcing the greyhound racing ban listed Lifeline as a number for people in the industry to call - but now these very services are subject to funding cuts.
Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party Member for Orange Philip Donato today called on the National Party Member for Dubbo and Member for Bathurst to join him to save Lifeline Central West from $800,000 in funding cuts over four years.
The cuts, reported in the Central Western Daily on November 24, arose from Lifeline's Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst services being treated as a single entity.
Mr Donato wrote to Troy Grant and Paul Toole to seek their support for his push to maintain the funding of this service.
"Mental health crisis services are vital to rural communities," Mr Donato said.
"According to the NSW Mental Health Commission, people in rural areas are 1.2 to 2.4 times more likely to complete suicide than those living in the city.
"I'm concerned that Lifeline Central West will actually see an increase in patronage from cost of living pressures and the potential job losses that are flagged from job cuts by Essential Energy and those arising from forced Council amalgamations.
"When the Premier went ahead with the greyhound racing ban earlier this year, Lifeline's 13 11 14 hotline number was cited at the bottom of the press release. Now defunding these services is a further insult to people living in the bush," he said.
Mr Donato said that he knew that Troy Grant and Paul Toole did not want to see the Central West's Lifeline cut.
"I know that deep down Mr Grant and Mr Toole wouldn't really support funding cuts to vital services in their electorates. As Parliamentary Members of the Central West, we need to band together to say that we won't stand for budget and service cuts.
"I certainly won't stand for this in Orange and will continue to fight it."