Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 June 2005) . . Page.. 2136 ..
a result of this latest budget, the government has set in train arrangements for all community groups, including peak organisations, to receive increased funding through enhanced indexation provisions for grants. This arrangement is set to commence in mid-2006, and will result in an extra one per cent funding per annum on top of the normal 2.5 per cent indexation arrangements. This is worth some $5.6 million over four years to the community sector, to help them attract and retain staff.
This government absolutely affirms its support to continue providing funding of peak non-government advocacy and policy organisations, and will not resile from attempting to maintain this level of support and commitment to the community sector to continue its tireless work on behalf of the people of Canberra. This government welcomes their input and values their opinion—something that the commonwealth government obviously does not.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.29): Mr Speaker, as you would know, yesterday I raised the relevance of this motion to what goes on in the Legislative Assembly. As a result of my raising the relevance of it, Dr Foskey has amended the motion she originally put forward, in an attempt to make this more relevant to the ACT. We are the ACT Legislative Assembly and we should be dealing with matters that pertain to the governance of the ACT, and perhaps the ACT budget rather than the federal budget.
The Liberal opposition questions the value of this motion today. This follows a bit of a pattern that we are starting to see. We saw it in Ms Porter’s matter of public importance yesterday, and we will see it later today in Mr Gentleman’s motion. We seem to be using a tenuous link to the ACT to have an opportunity to have a go at the federal government. The federal government are big people; they have been there for a long time. I think they have pretty broad shoulders and they can take it on the chin. We have to wonder what the priorities of this place are when the government and the crossbenchers can find things to talk about which are of only very extraneous relevance to the people of the ACT.
We are here about the governance of the ACT. Yesterday we had tabled in this place 150 or 200 pages of report and comment in relation to the estimates process. There are many issues of considerable concern that have been raised in the estimates process. The estimates and the budget and the passage of the budget should be the biggest thing in town at the moment, and we are spending time finding excuses to go after the federal government. The Liberal opposition will not be involved in this process.
Dr Foskey started her presentation by talking about how, a few years ago, some youth organisations were defunded. It is a great problem in government—and it is a great problem for every government of whatever persuasion—that, from time to time, policy priorities change and organisations that have received funding in the past cease to be funded. I have been involved in government and opposition in this place and have observed the process of governments, both here and federally and in other jurisdictions, for a long time. From time to time you find there are outbursts from organisations that have suddenly had their funding taken away.
I can think of occasions when the Australia council, for instance, ceased to fund particular arts organisations in the ACT and elsewhere. Those arts organisations went into meltdown saying, “We have always been funded; we provide a particular service; we should continue to receive it.” Community organisations and institutions do not have