JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
Byron Youth Service will be able to work with identified at risk youth to help avoid them entering the criminal justice system through over $500,000 of funding through Round six of the Safer Community Fund.
The not-for-profit service helps support young people within the Byron Bay community to ensure they feel safe and valued leading to reduced risk of offending or reoffending.
Senator for NSW, Perin Davey, said the work done by the Youth Service had benefits across the community which would ultimately benefit from this funding.
“It is well understood that young people who are supported and valued are more likely to reach their full potential,” Senator Davey said.
“Project U-Turn at Byron Bay will provide local youth with the support they need to minimise the likelihood of offending, reoffending or progressing into the criminal justice system which also benefits the safety and wellbeing of the whole community.”
Senator Davey explained the project in Byron Bay will target up to 100 youth and 25 families who are most at risk in the Byron Bay community as well as up to 1,000 of their peers and younger siblings.
Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs, Jason Wood, said the additional funding was in response to overwhelming demand from the community and was designed support organisations like Byron Youth Service with demonstrated experience in helping marginalised youth, to build resilience, strengthen community connections and job readiness skills.
“These community organisations do vital work to help get young people on the right track. We know that some young people engage in activities or have negative experiences that leave them at risk of joining gangs, committing serious crimes, and disengaging from the wider community,” Assistant Minister Wood said.
“The challenges we’ve faced over the last 2 years as a result of the pandemic have only added to the sense of social isolation and disconnection that some young people feel.”
The Morrison Government is delivering an extra $50 million across Australia under round six of the highly successful Safer Communities Fund to improve community safety and help divert local at-risk youth from a life of crime.
Since 2016 the Safer Communities Fund has supported 720 community level projects to deliver crime prevention initiatives through an investment of more than $265 million.