Union help for group

SEA executive officer Don Tunnicliffe with Tony Hall and Steve McCartney from the AMWU and youth services manager Mike Milne. Picture: Bruce Hunt d421205
SEA executive officer Don Tunnicliffe with Tony Hall and Steve McCartney from the AMWU and youth services manager Mike Milne. Picture: Bruce Hunt d421205

The union has donated a new car to the Swan Emergency Accommodation (SEA) service.

AMWU State secretary Steve McCartney said a partnership with the group would provide a great opportunity for community development in an area of importance to the union.

He said historical links with the Midland Railway Workshops had provided a close connection to a geographical area that includes Hazelmere, South Guilford and Midland ” home to many of Perth’s contemporary heavy and light industries.

SEA executive officer Don Tunnicliffe said his organisation has contact with about 1000 local people per year in the area and works with homeless people and indigenous groups to help with housing issues and emergency relief.

‘This can be anything from providing blankets and food vouchers to offering financial support, court appearances support, crisis housing and traditional housing for clients,’ he said.

SEA also has links with other service providers in the area for soup kitchens and to support new initiatives.

Mr Tunnicliffe said one of the main things identified as bringing the greatest help to the association would be a car and that could also enable clients to get a driving licence.

‘The importance of a drivers’ licence to obtaining training or meaningful employment cannot be underestimated, yet many young people struggle with the 100 hours logged experience WA law requires after they have passed their practical test.

‘This can be because of lack of access to a vehicle, the expense of fuel or the absence of qualified driver to supervise,’ he said.

‘Our youth services manager has undertaken the Keys for Life program to have the skills to oversee the driving program.’

In the current political conversation about welfare and its cost to the community, he said he believed the initiative took a positive view in co-creating opportunities for young people to participate economically through skills development.

‘At the same time the young person grows in self-esteem and confidence for social participation,’ he said.

Mr McCartney said assisting with a drivers’ licence would give union organisers and activists an opportunity to participate in a community project with tangible results.

‘We would attempt where possible to ensure that driver training was connected with training and employment, especially in local manufacturing industries.’