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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 13 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 4461 ..

MRS CARNELL (continuing):

Mr Speaker, do you hear a deathly hush here? Do I hear, "Thank you" from Ms Reilly or, "Well done, Government."? No. There is absolute deathly silence. If they cannot whinge or criticise the Government, then you get nothing from those opposite. Far from doing nothing as Ms Reilly continually claimed, the Government has provided additional assistance to groups such as the Woden Community Service and is developing an appropriate and sustainable strategy to respond to the pressures that the new SACS award may impose. We will continue to monitor its introduction, work together with our agencies, work with community organisations and work with other governments to address this issue. In other words, we will get this right the first time. I make a final point. I have heard and read many times in recent days that the Opposition believes that there is a better way. Mr Speaker, at least under this Government there is a way. Ms Reilly, it is a way forward.

Sports Funding

MS McRAE: My question is to the Minister for Sport, Mr Stefaniak. Minister, can you confirm that the recommendations of the Sport and Recreation Council in regard to funding allocation for sport and recreation groups are going to be completely ignored? The new proposal for the allocation of funding to such groups requires all allocations to be reviewed by the Chief Minister's Department and Cabinet. Minister, my question is: Why have the Sport and Recreation Council look at the allocation of funding at all?

MR STEFANIAK: You really are barking up the wrong tree, Ms McRae. The Sport and Recreation Council have done a particularly good job over the years in making recommendations to me and my predecessors on sports funding, and their role will continue. If you had been listening to Mr Humphries's reply to Mr Wood, you might have learnt that the whole idea of having a look at all the grants is just to ensure that money is used appropriately and efficiently and to streamline funding. As you would appreciate, Ms McRae, the grants process is very much between agencies. An official from OFM who went to the various meetings was highly impressed with the way the sports grants are administered. In fact, they are probably the best administered of all the grants.

Ms McRae: So why are you not paying attention to them? It is outrageous.

MR STEFANIAK: Basically, they are a bit of a yardstick for the rest. We are looking at grants as a whole, Ms McRae, not just at one particular agency. The role of the Sport and Recreation Council will continue. The council does a particularly good job. It will not be ignored. Its role will continue because it does do a very good job in the allocation of grants to sporting and recreational groups.

MS McRAE: I ask a supplementary question. Are you confirming that their recommendations will not be overturned and that political patronage or backroom bureaucrats will not have sway over the decisions of the Sport and Recreation Council?

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