Community cuts action update: don’t go breakin’ our hearts

Words by Corina Backhouse, photos by Kate Ausburn (her flickr set is here)

Today F held a street theater action outside of Parliament House in Sydney, with giant red hearts, fake blood and a theatrics of resistance against the proposed cuts to essential community services in NSW.

The demonstration was organised by F, and was attended by about 40 people, including folks from the Liverpool Women’s Resource Centre & the NSW Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (both services have been marked by the O’Farrell government for de-funding). Shadow Minister for Community Services Linda Burney, Shadow Minister for Women Sophie Cotsis, Helen Westwood MLC, John Kaye Greens MLC and other supporters including the Finance Sector Union, UTS student association, Sydney Feminists, Socialist Alliance were all there.

The O’Farrell Liberal Government has decided that some community services do not provide ‘value’ for money. These are the services that play a crucial role in assisting women, families and children, LGBTQI communities, people with disabilities, those who have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault, and those who are marginalised through poverty and cultural discrimination. Services being considered for de-funding include Twenty10 – Gay & Lesbian Counselling Service, Liverpool Women’s Resource Centre, Redfern Legal Centre Financial Counseling Service, Welfare Rights, West St Wollongong, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Margaret Jurd Learning Centre.

We say Barry cuts, community bleeds. The uncertainty surrounding the cuts is having a weighty impact on service users who now do not now if they will have access to their services beyond Christmas.  This campaign may be a lengthy one, but it is incredibly important. Community services are at the heart of social, cultural and personal thriving.  Join us in the fight to ensure that the NSW Liberal government does not succeed in its malicious endeavour to empty the state of vital community services.

Our big hearts are being scored by broken policy. Don’t break our hearts, Barry.

Updates on press and more photos to come tomorrow.

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