Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt is hopeful he has found a solution to help ensure the long term viability of the Babinda Taskforce.

In an article in The Innisfail Advocate (24 February 2010) Babinda Taskforce president Debra Quabba announced that unless the organisation could increase funding the Taskforce faced closure.

Mr Pitt said that in the 11 years it had been operating the Taskforce had provided a tremendous service at a time when many rural towns had seen a continual decline in services provided.

“The Taskforce requires an income stream which will allow the group to employ two fulltime staff. Up until now the Taskforce has operated with predominantly volunteer staff who have worked tirelessly and are in need of a break,” Mr Pitt said.

“Babinda is a busy town which also has an ageing population so it is imperative that we find a solution to keep open the Taskforce operating and a continuation of services.

“I’m also concerned that the local QGAP agency has not been operating in recent months.

“Given there are obvious synergies between the two operations I’ve proposed to Smart Service Queensland that the Taskforce becomes the new QGAP agent in Babinda.

“I am pleased to say that Smart Service Queensland will shortly be holding discussions with the Taskforce to investigate and progress this proposal.

“Division One Councillor Paul Gregory has also indicated that Cairns Regional Council may consider funding a fulltime position to keep the Taskforce running and I would certainly support such a move.

“For mine, this is a workable solution. The scope of services provided encompassing three levels of government, creating a one stop service centre – a model which has worked in many other rural towns.

“I call upon the people of Babinda to support the Taskforce and attend tonight’s meeting,”

A community meeting will be held tonight from 7pm at the Spirit of Babinda Hall. Mr Pitt is in Brisbane for this week’s sitting of Parliament will be unable to attend.