Page 1984 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 6 May 2009

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Multicultural Youth Service

MS BRESNAN: My question is for the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and concerns the Multicultural Youth Service ACT. Minister, the community inclusion fund, where MYS receives the bulk of its ACT funding, is due to end and the Treasurer has noted that some of the programs under this fund will shift to other department program areas. The Youth Coalition of the ACT, in its budget release, has noted that the MYS drop-in service is likely to close. Can you confirm whether the multicultural funding in the budget includes funding for MYS and the amount of funding?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Ms Bresnan for the question and for the advanced notice that it was her intention to discuss this matter in the chamber. That was very helpful. My understanding about the funding to MYS was that—

Mr Hanson: It is a dorothy dixer from your good mates over there.

MR SPEAKER: The minister is answering the question, Mr Hanson.

MR HARGREAVES: Thanks very much, Mr Speaker, from my colleagues and my good friends over here. My understanding of the funding for MYS in previous years was that it was project funded.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! I cannot hear Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: This year, in this budget, there was indeed a request to have a one-off funding presented. That was not successful, along with a number of other varied—how can I put it?—viable requests from the community sector. It was a case of “we don’t have the resources at the moment to do this one-off funding”.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR HARGREAVES: We will ignore them; we will ignore those people over there. I will not talk to the Cabbage Patch dolls over on that side of the chamber.

The issue for us is this: how much of these community requests can we actually fund in a year? A lot of them are quite viable; they are quite sustainable; they are quite justifiable. If you do not have the money, you just do not have the money in this particular year.

I do not want to send a message that the door is closed to MYS forever. At this particular time, the funding request was not successful and, unfortunately, the money is not available at this time. It was not agreed that there should be project funding going forward.

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