Government must ensure funding certainty for crucially important Men’s Sheds

The Government must provide funding certainty, to ensure the continued success of WA’s Men’s Sheds, Greens spokesperson for Mental Health Hon Alison Xamon MLC has said.

Speaking in Parliament, Ms Xamon said the community-based, non-profit, non-commercial organisation was heading for a funding crisis, as it’s only source of State Government funding runs out in December.

She said originally the peak body had been funded by the Department of Health alone although its work is undertaken in conjunction with up to 9 different Government Departments.

Over time the funding from Health was matched by other Departments such as the Department of Local Government.

“By 2017, however, Men’s Sheds of WA became another victim of Health funding cuts for inexplicably no longer meeting the department’s strategic direction, Ms Xamon said.

“It is now funded solely by the Department of Local Government, Heritage, Culture and the Arts and that funding is guaranteed only until the end of 2018.

Ms Xamon said the importance and benefits of Men’s Sheds on the health, mental health and general wellbeing of Western Australian men was well-established.

She said sheds were actively supporting Government priorities and, amongst other valuable projects, had been set up to work with Karnet Prison Farm, in partnership with BHP to work with Fly In, Fly Out workers and to assist people with disabilities and other groups in need of support.

“As a suicide prevention advocate, I cannot speak highly enough of Men’s Sheds,” Ms Xamon said.

“One agency needs to take the lead on supporting Men’s Sheds of WA and provide some certainty so the organisation can plan ahead.

“There is only four months left on the existing funding contract and there is no time to waste.”