FORMER program co-ordinator at the Bribie Island Youth Centre, Tony Ghee, has warned youth crime rates could drastically increase after funding was cut to two programs that ran out of the centre.
The programs were funded under the State Government's Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, which was cut in July by the Newman government.
Mr Ghee warned if the community didn't step up to fill the void, Bribie could expect rampant drug use, binge drinking and fights in the area, as bad or worse than what was seen before the programs came in.
"What it really means for the community is all the good work in the last two years to make it a safe place for young families to come down... that would probably no longer exist unless the community take ownership and some sort of action to keep the place vibrant," he said.
"Before we turned up we'd find two or three bongs a week.
"Since we've been here the crime rate has gone down, particularly around this area.
"I don't want to see that good work going to waste."
The two programs, Get Set for Work and Participate in Prosperity, employed one staff member each, and cost about $200,000 between them to operate.
It would take a miracle, as far as Mr Ghee is concerned, to find funding from other sources to keep these programs running.
But he said if everyone on the island did their part to ensure activities kept happening at the centre, it could still remain a vibrant community hub.
"What I'd like to see happen is a whole network of organisations get together to keep the stuff happening down here," Mr Ghee said.
"You get say Lions and Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, council, all getting together and getting behind it... in terms of running the community events.
"It creates a hive of activity."
In addition to valuable workforce training, the axed programs provided a community for many people and a lot of cultural learning stemmed from Mr Ghee's Torres Strait Islander background.
Councillor Gary Parsons said he would be talking with community groups about the status of the centre.
"The youth centre is open for all the normal events like martial arts and dancing," Cr Parsons said.
"I'd like the state to review these particular grants.
"I don't know whether they were aware that it did affect this youth centre."
Member for Pumicestone Lisa France said it was a difficult decision for the government to make.
"Unfortunately, with the budget cuts we have had to introduce to get Queensland back on track, Skilling Queenslanders for Work has suffered," she said.
"Employment resources are the responsibility of the Federal Government, which spends around $1.8 billion annually.
"This decision was not made lightly."
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