Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 5 Hansard (10 April) . .
MR DOSZPOT: Chief Minister, what is the government's policy on hospitality offered by territory-owned corporations, and is that policy being followed at ACTEW and ActewAGL?
MS GALLAGHER: We have got no reason to believe that it is not, Mr Doszpot. I think there is also a difference, and I do not think there is a clear understanding of the difference, between ACTEW in relation to corporate support and hospitality and ActewAGL, and therefore, I guess, the reasonable requests that the shareholders can make as shareholders of ACTEW as opposed to ActewAGL. There is nothing to lead me to believe that anything is happening that is not in accordance with the guidelines that those companies operate under, but we thought it was prudent and responsible to get up-to-date and refreshed information from the board to reassure us that everything is appropriate and in line with the expectations of the government.
DR BOURKE: My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney, last week you called for community groups to come forward to apply for government grants based on the confiscation of criminal assets trust fund. What are these grants for?
MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for his question. Last week I called for community groups to express their interest in receiving grants through the confiscation of criminal assets trust fund. This fund is established by the Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act and provides for conviction-based recovery of the proceeds of crime and for the assets to be restrained where no charges were laid through civil recovery and application of penalty orders. The act deprives offenders of the benefits of their criminal acts and provides deterrence by removing the profit motive.
As a result of this, we have seen a significant amount of funds accumulate. The funds have been acquired through the proceeds of confiscation proceedings which have been undertaken either by the police or by the Director of Public Prosecutions. I have decided to use these funds to make grants available for community and not-for-profit organisations to deliver projects that boost crime prevention and reduce the incidence of crime. I think this is a very good use of funds confiscated from criminal assets because it means the proceeds of crime are being used to prevent crime into the future.
Grants of up to $10,000 will be made available to community-based organisations. In the past we have seen a broad range of community organisations take advantage of these schemes to put in place measures such as improved security and other steps like that. But this is fundamentally about making sure that those who have benefited from their criminal activities do not see those benefits, that they are seized and put to a good public use, and I am confident that, again, we will see a high level of interest from community and not-for-profit organisations who want to take advantage of the grants program funded by the proceeds of crime to help improve the security of their premises or operations and, therefore, reduce crime into the future.