Health minister Roger Cook has told parliament the state government will extend the life of the Peel Mobile Health Service for a year using a “once off” allocation of unspent bushfire disaster money.
Murray-Wellington MP Robyn Clarke told protesters in Waroona earlier this month she was working to extend the life of the service for 12 months, even though there would be no money in the state budget for a permanent fix.
GP down south, which managed the service, said it would use its own funds to run the service to September in the hope further funding could be found.
“The member for Murray-Wellington, working with people in the community, was concerned that we needed some more funding just to continue to provide those outreach services to the victims of the Yarloop bushfires,” Mr Cook told parliament on Thursday.
“The member for Murray-Wellington worked assiduously with the Shire of Waroona to see what other funding could be found and approached both the Department of Premier and Cabinet and myself about unspent funds in relation to the bushfire relief funding.
“I’m very pleased that we’re now in a position to make those funds available which will see the Peel Mobile Health Service continue for another 12 months.”
Ms Clarke and Mandurah MP David Templeman welcomed the announcement and blamed for the former Liberal government for failing to extend the service’s funding beyond June 30.
“The Barnett Government failed to provide any funding in the Budget for this service beyond 30 June this year,” Mr Templeman said.
“In securing a further year in funding for the service, areas such as Mandurah, Pinjarra and Waroona will continue to receive a range of health services.”
Ms Clarke said the devastating bushfires last year had taken an emotional and psychological toll on many people in the Waroona community.
“The mental health services being provided by Peel Mobile Health Service have provided a valuable role addressing the trauma caused by the fires and rebuilding the social resilience of this community,” she said.