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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 31 July 2018) . . Page.. 2412 ..

An excellent example of the ACT government supporting community organisations to become more effective and efficient is the annual community support and infrastructure grants. The grants are awarded under the following three categories: community support and capacity; non-fixed infrastructure and equipment; and minor capital works and fixed infrastructure.

In June I was pleased to announce a total of $230,000 in funding for 48 successful organisations, allowing them to update their infrastructure, buy necessary equipment and offset other costs. Successful projects included $7,700 for wireless headset microphones for performers at the Tuggeranong community theatre and $6,000 for Burrunju Aboriginal Corporation’s purchase of equipment for the art gallery. Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services, MARSS, also received over $8,700 for a digital technology upgrade.

All three of these organisations have for many years provided support to ensure that all Canberrans can access services and programs to ensure full social inclusion in the community. This additional funding will further strengthen these efforts, and I congratulate all of the successful recipients.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how is the government assisting community organisations to improve their digital capacity?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Pettersson for the supplementary question. The government, of course, acknowledges that digital technology is an integral part of our modern lives. Using mobile phones, computers and tablets and accessing various information and services online is now how we communicate and transact in many spheres of life.

As most Canberrans turn to online portals and websites to get information about services and events, the ACT government recognises the importance of ensuring that community organisations can also publicise their activities and inform Canberrans about what they do. However, we know that adopting or updating technology can be a costly exercise for many organisations.

With this in mind, the ACT government is proud to support community organisations through the participation (digital communities) grant program. The program was designed to enhance the capacity of community organisations to effectively engage their communities and clients to participate fully in the life of Canberra through the use of digital technology.

Last month I was pleased to announce the outcomes of the latest funding round, with 31 community organisations receiving funding of more than $100,000 for a range of initiatives. An example was $4,900 for the Molonglo Catchment Group’s web-based biodiversity data management interface. Funding under this round was also provided to Prisoners Aid ACT Inc, which received $4,072 to update its computer and phone hardware to improve communication with clients. A final example of how grants can support technical improvements was the provision of $2,406 to Woden Seniors Inc in this grant round to purchase a data projector and a laptop.

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