Paul Papadatos calls on government to save struggling youth centre in Victoria

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The director of the Innovation Youth Centre in Victoria, Paul Papadatos has pushed for the government to provide it with much-needed funding.

This comes after the Bundoora youth centre is at risk of being forced to shut its doors next month due to a lack of funding.

A Current Affair revealed that over the last 19 months, the centre has helped 500 people, many of which have faced troubles with the law and taught them life skills.

“Young people are taught how to build a resume or dress for a job interview, even how to make a cup of coffee,” Mr Papadatos said.

The director of the centre said he is doing everything he can to try and save the youth centre, however, hasn’t had much luck. It needs almost $2 million to remain open for the next two years.

“We’ve tried all different tiers of government from local, state and federal and unfortunately, we haven’t had success,” he said.

“If this place isn’t saved it’ll shut its doors on March 1, all this good, all this progress gone.”

The board member of the youth centre, Alex Messina, shared that the community would notice a difference if the centre closes.

“If we’re not here, it means more crime, more disadvantage, less stable lives, less people getting into jobs,” Messina said.

“You can’t just turn the tap off after 18 months, you know, you can’t just stop because the kids need that ongoing support.”

In response to criticisms, the Victorian government said in a statement that “the Innovation Youth Centre is funded by the Federal Government.”

“The Victorian Government is working with the City of Whittlesea to meet the needs of young people in the region and we recently provided the council funding to determine the location, infrastructure and services that young people in the community need,” the statement read.

Source: A Current Affair.

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