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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 8 Hansard (15 August) . . Page.. 2943 ..

In closing, I would like to refer to a letter that was sent to Alison Playford, the D-G of the JACS directorate. It came from Betty Ferguson, the president of the Probus Association of Canberra & District. Betty says:

We consider the Probus Club meetings and functions are vital to the social interaction of many of our members and for some, this is what they look forward to each month. For our members, many of whom are senior aged single women and men, this provides a significant benefit to physical and mental wellbeing.

We believe that if the ACT Government establishes a central charitable fund to receive all community contributions and distribute money to charitable and community causes by an independent administrative body ... then the viability of the Probus Club in the ACT and the Probus Association would be in jeopardy.

Mr Ramsay believes that I have been scouting around town telling people in aged groups that they are going to lose all of their funding. They have come to me. I have not gone to them; they have come to me and said, "We want to make this point. We believe that there is a serious chance that if the funding model changes, we are going to be at the bottom of the list," which will be diminished because there is only so much money to go around.

Mr Ramsay and Mr Rattenbury can turn their backs on the clubs as much as they like. Mr Barr and co can say that if the clubs choose not to support the Probus club or the junior rugby league club, that is the clubs' call. But the reality is that there is only so much money to go around. If the government takes away a large chunk of these community contributions, if they become a tax, it will mean that something else has to give. The smaller clubs and groups that get money from clubs know that they are only small. They are on a long list of contribution recipients.

If that overall monetary amount is to shrink, they cannot all make the cut. Somebody has to lose. If this system changes, as per any of the options listed, then the reality is that there will be a number of sporting clubs, social groups and community organisations that miss out. And they will remember.

Question put:

That the amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 12: Ms J Burch Ms Cheyne Ms Cody Ms Fitzharris Mr Gentleman Ms Le Couteur Ms Orr Mr Pettersson Mr Ramsay Mr Rattenbury Mr Steel Ms Stephen-Smith

Noes 9: Miss C Burch Mr Coe Mrs Dunne Mr Hanson Mrs Kikkert Ms Lawder Ms Lee Mr Milligan Mr Parton

Amendment agreed to.

Original question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.

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