Page 2648 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 28 June 2011

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On the same day, Mr Seselja added:

… we believe it deserves to be carefully considered. It is particularly important in our new Assembly if openness and accountability are to be pursued more rigorously than ever before. As we have said this week on numerous occasions, accountability must be more than mere words.

In this context, the community service directorate drafted a comprehensive deed of agreement outlining eligibility criteria. It was a lengthy document but it said:

These funds will assist volunteers in their important work, including those who use their cars to transport others to activities, deliver food and assist people in need. Volunteers can also be reimbursed for the cost of transport to and from the place of volunteering.

An organisation applying for these grants had to be:

… not-for-profit … based in the ACT … a legal entity, engaging volunteers, whose work directly benefits residents of the ACT.

In addition, the application form all applicants were to sign and submit said:

Organisations can apply for … $100 per volunteer … to help their volunteers meet the rising costs associated with volunteering.

It said that funds were to be used to contribute towards the cost of fuel, transport and parking. Each applicant was asked to sign that they had read, understood and agreed to the guidelines. They gave consent for the disability department to contact them for more information.

I have been advised that in their application for $10,000 under this grant the Canberra Liberals have classified themselves as a community welfare organisation. The $10,000 compares to the ACT Deafness Resource Centre, $2,400; the Australian Foster Care Association, $500; the Alzheimer’s Australia association, $1,800; People with Disability, $1,500; SIDS and Kids, $1,700; Karinya House, $2,000; the Council on the Ageing, $1,600; the Abbeyfield society, Abbeyfield disAbility, $1,200; the Canberra Liberals, $10,000. (Time expired.)

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, a supplementary question?

MR HARGREAVES: Yes, thanks very much, Mr Speaker. Minister, what steps have you taken to determine whether it was technically and morally appropriate for the Canberra Liberals to receive funding for the support for volunteers grants program and to ensure that in future political parties are not eligible to apply for ACT government funded community grants?

MS BURCH: I do thank Mr Hargreaves for his question.

Mr Coe interjecting—

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