It's been more than two years since this government promised to build a headspace at Wyong in my community on the Central Coast of New South Wales. They made the promise on the eve of the 2019 election, saying they'd put $1.5 million towards the project. They said it would be up and running by 2021. In fact, in Senate estimates on 27 October we were told that headspace Wyong would be officially opened in December 2021. It's now December, and this government still hasn't delivered.
My community on the Central Coast desperately needs access to more mental health support, especially for young people and especially after the year they've had. Our community spent months in lockdown because of the government's failures in hotel quarantine and their failure to stop another COVID-19 outbreak. During this time, demand for mental health support surged to its highest levels. Lifeline experienced its busiest day on record in August, with over 3,500 calls made in just one day. Young Coasties were crying out for help as they struggled with changes to at-home learning ahead of the HSC. A service like headspace Wyong could have helped them and made it easier on them.
Instead, the government has sat on its hands when it comes to mental health support for my community. They make empty promises without following through. People in my community on the Central Coast deserve better. They deserve a headspace at Wyong. It's well past time for the government to follow through on this commitment.