The Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie has written to the Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler demanding to know why Swan Hill missed out on a headspace centre.
Senator McKenzie said it was disappointing Swan Hill’s bid for a headspace centre was ignored when the town’s statistics spoke for themselves.
“Swan Hill, with a population of approximately 10,000 people, had the highest rate of teenagers who self-harm in Victoria at seven times the state average in 2008-09.
“Meanwhile, the local government area’s suicide rate for young people under the age of 25 was three times the state average from 2004-2010.”
Last month 15 new headspace centres were announced, three of which were designated for Victoria – all in and around metropolitan Melbourne.
Senator McKenzie raised the matter in parliament last month and said the project could make a significant difference to the Swan Hill community.
She said the federal government had ignored the needs of regional Victorians.
“Swan Hill was not the only town to miss out; a push by Mildura and Albury-Wodonga for headspace centres was also overlooked.
“The Minister must outline his selection process and explain why the needs of these towns were ignored.”