Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1640 ..
MR HUMPHRIES: That is right. You said I misled the house.
Mr Berry: That is not an imputation. He is in government.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Let Mr Humphries finish.
MR HUMPHRIES: Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Goodness me! Mr Black Kettle over there! Heaven's above! That is from the soot-covered kettle over there. I regret that those opposite have not had the integrity to treat the honesty with which my answers were conveyed with some respect, but that of course is a regret I have to carry in this place, because I will not walk away from my duty to tell the truth to this house.
MR OSBORNE: My question is to the Minister for police, Mr Humphries. Minister, I trust that you recall a meeting which you held last year with members of the Safety House program and the AFP regarding their financial situation and the possibility of further government funding because they had lost their major national sponsor at the time. At that meeting you encouraged Safety House to pursue corporate sponsorship and once they had attracted some sponsors to get back in touch regarding some supplementary funding. I appreciate that those who attended that meeting are in some disagreement about the level of funding. It was promised but certainly you implied that if they did find some outside funding the Government would be very sympathetic towards bolstering it up. In February this year the Canberra Raiders agreed to sponsor the Safety House program for $10,000 a year for the next three years. That is a total of $30,000. Minister, can you inform the Assembly whether the Safety House committee have formally approached you for funding this year in response to your instructions? If so, what discussions have taken place, and have you agreed upon a level of funding, as you had previously implied?
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Osborne for this question. I met last year - it might have been even the year before - with representatives of Safety House in the ACT and I supported the work that they were doing. I applauded the efforts they had made to increase their coverage of the territory that they had been able to achieve. I again indicated my willingness to work with them through the Australian Federal Police. At that stage there was at least one officer of the AFP who was tasked to support Safety House from within the AFP structure. I also made it clear to Safety House that I was anxious to continue to see their work supported and would do so on the basis that they made a reasonable effort to secure funding of their own from private sources. I also, I believe, followed up our meeting by sending them copies of documentation to make application to Healthpact for funding from that organisation.
The last time I had communication with them was before they had the generous offer of support from the Canberra Raiders. At that stage I am not sure whether they had any support at all but it was certainly at a low level if they had any support. I indicated that I would not entertain a further request by them for support from the Government unless