Glen Innes and District Community Centre coordinator Brenda Beauchamp has spoken out following the announcement of a proposed Neighbourhood Centre.
Ms Beauchamp said the services offered at the prospective new centre are already available.
The proposed “innovation centre” would provide seniors a place to socialise and update their communication technology skills while also acting as a place for local youth to learn skills and become job ready, project coordinator Catherine Green told the Examiner last year.
However Ms Beauchamp said it would be both more economical and productive to focus on expanding on and re-evaluating existing services to ensure that they are meeting the needs of the community.
“I applaud people in Glen Innes who have the energy and passion to put towards helping the Glen Innes community,” she said.
“I would however also strongly encourage people to do research to find out what existing services there are in Glen Innes.
“There currently is an existing community centre which is also another name for a neighbourhood centre [and] I believe it is imperative as a community to work together in building better, stronger community supports.
“Making use of existing services instead of reinventing them is an important aspect of doing so.”
Founded in 1978, the Glen Innes and District Community Centre operates to inform people of the services available, to help people access these services and to advocate for appropriate services to be made available if there is a demand.
The new centre is lobbying for federal and state government funding, Ms Green said.
“Our focus would be on music development, technology education and project innovation, communication technology development, recreational activities, leadership development programs, sporting programs, catering and cooking innovation, healthy lifestyles programs and personal development courses,” she said.
“Glen Innes lacks a facility that can engage our youth as well as providing future focus for an aging demographic and that is what we want to do with the Neighbourhood Centre.”
But Ms Beauchamp said many of these are already available and include seniors computer and internet training, energy and Telstra payment assistance, isolated patient travel and accommodation scheme forms, parent change tables, community morning tea and more.
“If you’re going to seek funding, you really need to know what is already being funded,” she said.