Page 3011 - Week 07 - Thursday, 30 June 2011

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MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, a supplementary?

MR HARGREAVES: Thanks very much, Mr Speaker.

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! Mr Hargreaves, you have the floor.

Mr Coe interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, you are now warned for repeated interjection.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, my supplementary to the minister is: will legislation be necessary to prevent political parties from accessing grants directed at disadvantaged groups? Would other grants be affected by such legislation and have any of the other grants programs been examined to see whether the Liberal Party has accessed those as well?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hargreaves for his question. The director-general has written to Volunteering ACT seeking information about the grants process, to ensure that it was awarded on merit and it met the intent of the funding. He is seeking information about who got access to the funds and what services were delivered through those funds.

On the question of legislation, I think I need to wait until the investigation is completed. A mere return of $10,000 back to the community benefit will not stop what is good due process in investigating how the Canberra Liberals accessed $10,000 and thought they were warranted. So we will continue to explore who was in receipt of those funds and what services were delivered. I am also of a very strong mind to write to my colleagues, the other ministers, who also administer a series of community grants, to ensure that no political party can have access to a community grant. That has been an outright shame on this community. I have been approached by community organisations that have shared their absolute disappointment in the Canberra Liberals. I think it is for them to carry on their shoulders from this day that they decided that they were worth four times, five times, that of organisations such as SIDS and Kids and Karinya House.

MR HANSON: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, are you aware that the Leader of the Opposition showed strong leadership and ethics by handing back the money, despite the fact that it had been given to the party entirely legitimately?

MS BURCH: What I saw the Leader of the Opposition show was a denial that he was even aware of it when it was brought to his attention weeks before the story came out, because they put TAMS on the declaration instead of Volunteering ACT. What I saw

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