Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2268 ..



given the growing number of PR people in the public service, I am sure that there will be a review of the emergency plans and that issue will be covered by how the media part of the strategy should be handled.

The amendment simply seeks to remove from this year's budget the provision of $250,000 as start-up capital for an initiative that has not been explained and has not been justified. We do not know what this initiative will do, we do not know where or how it will be done and there is no justification for it except to say that the January bushfires showed up flaws. Hopefully, events such as the bushfires of January of this year will be very few and far between and, therefore, would not be justification for the government setting up spin doctors to do the job that others should be doing.

Another subject I wish to discuss-I am sure that Mrs Burke will have more to say on it in a few moments-is the announcement on page 144 of BP 3 that $50,000 will be provided in support to Volunteering ACT, which is much less than they have received over the last five or six years. You can present it in any way you want, but the reality is that in the last three years of the previous Liberal government they got $100,000 a year and were able to bid for other moneys.

Since the bushfires, Volunteering ACT have conducted numerous seminars and provided valuable assistance to the community and they have been thanked time and again by this government. The government's thanks was to formalise their payment-that is all that this line does-and halve the base pay, with the excuse that if Volunteering ACT wants more money they can go after it.

I think that it is really important that we look at how we fund our peak bodies. There isn't a line anywhere else in the budget for peak funding for ACTCOSS, COTA or any other peak body. Perhaps we need to look at that and ensure that the peak bodies that really do help coordinate the activities of the community sector are funded as best as they can be.

Many other areas of the Chief Minister's Department have been ignored. Multiculturalism, for instance has just been ignored; it does not even rate a mention. I cannot see any reference to the proposed multicultural centre. I am sure that Mr Pratt will talk about that later. I cannot find funding for the multicultural aged care workers that were promised. I am sure that they will be coming. Perhaps the government needs to check on its Gerritsen costing as to when they were meant to come and when they were meant to be delivered, but they are certainly not mentioned here at all.

One initiative that I have to say I do like is the one about the Monash awards. We are not being negative, Ted; we are praising you for an initiative. There have been two praises. I have said well done on the bushfire funding and I am now saying that the Monash awards, particularly, are a fantastic initiative in that, as a nation, we have not had the tradition of the Rhodes scholars or the Fulbrights. I think that it is quite worthy and quite reasonable to have in the budget a contribution by the government to these awards over the next two years. I think that the benefit that we as a nation and, therefore, we as a city will accrue from doing so will be all out of proportion to the small amount of money that will be going to them.


: Order! The Leader of the Opposition's time has expired.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .