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Labor must deliver Geelong region headspace services where they are most needed

On this headspace Day, I call on the Albanese Government to match the Coalition’s $6.2 million commitment to a headspace centre in Corio and a headspace satellite service in Bannockburn where youth mental health support is most needed. 

In committing to a headspace centre in Armstrong Creek, Labor’s Libby Coker has demonstrated that she is only interested in pork barrelling and not in the genuine needs of our community.  

Given there is a full headspace centre in central Geelong, the needs of young people living in Geelong’s north must take priority. A service in Bannockburn is also vital.  The latest census data shows that Golden Plains Shire has a higher proportion of young people aged 0 to 24 years within its population of 33.2% compared to the Victorian average of 23.6%.

Jet setting Corio MP, Richard Marles, needs to show some genuine interest in the wellbeing of young people in his electorate and back the Coalition’s plan. Mr Marles’ failure to commit to any additional mental health services in Corio shows, once again, that he continues to take his electorate for granted. 

As we announced on 9 May 2022, the Coalition’s plan was to upgrade the Corio satellite service to a full headspace centre and deliver local headspace support to young people in Bannockburn and nearby Inverleigh where the demand is particularly high. This commitment builds on the Coalition’s earlier investments in headspace services in Corio and Ocean Grove, and in an adult Head to Health centre in Station St, Norlane. 

The theme for this year’s headspace Day is pause, reflect and reconnect. According to headspace, recent ABS data found that almost two in five people between 16 and 24 experience mental ill-health each year.  

Investing in mental health was a key Coalition priority with the former government investing a record $3 billion into the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to drive this reform.  It is time that the Albanese Government made mental health a key priority. 

5 October 2022 

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