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A chance for Jim to show he knows What's Up?

26 May, 2004

A chance for Jim to show he knows What's Up?

Green Party MP Nandor Tanczos today congratulated Jim Anderton on his Budget initiatives for suicide prevention and called on the Minister to use some of these funds to rescue successful youth counselling hot line What's Up? from closure.

Nandor says What's Up? has been facing an ongoing battle for financial survival but negotiations with future long-term supporters are currently looking very promising. What is needed is a small cash injection until this funding comes through.

"I have asked every Minister with any responsibility in this area for help," said Nandor. "While sympathetic, no one had the money needed. Jim Anderton is our last resort and we hope he can come up with the remaining $45,000 needed to ensure the survival of What's Up?

"Mr Anderton said yesterday 'there's still more work to do in order to save lives.' Well, we know this service saves lives and so it's time for this Government to put its money where its mouth is."

Nandor said a public campaign by Randwick Park Primary School Year 8 student Shonam Reddy to save What's Up? proved the very real need for this service to continue.

"I surveyed students at my school about what 0800 phone line they would call if they needed it and what phone line they would recommend to their friends,' said Shonam. "What's Up? won hands down.

"So I have started a petition at my school and I'm getting all our students and their parents to support this worthy organisation. Hopefully students and parents form other schools will join in too".


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