Page 1435 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 April 2013

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MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, how have these grants benefited the community in the past?

MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for the supplementary. In the past couple of years—indeed, last year I approved the distribution of $190,000 from the confiscated assets trust fund. This was to support 10 projects in the ACT. It includes such important organisations as the White Ribbon Foundation, who received $20,000, the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, who received $15,000, the Domestic Violence Prevention Council, who received $10,000, and the Women’s Centre for Health Matters, who also received $10,000.

All of these funds were in recognition that violence against women in the community is an important priority for this Labor government. The additional funding assists those not-for-profit organisations to improve services and programs that promote awareness and help prevent or tackle the issues arising from violence against women and children in our community.

In particular, it is worth highlighting that the funding to the White Ribbon Foundation was for the coordination of White Ribbon Day activities, including awareness campaigns and prevention programs within ACT schools and workplaces. The $15,000 to the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre was to raise awareness of the importance of respectful relationships and promote their crisis and other support programs. The $10,000 to the Domestic Violence Prevention Council allowed the council to undertake new activities, increasing community involvement in the prevention of domestic violence within the ACT. The $10,000 to the Women’s Centre for Health Matters assisted them in coordinating their annual reclaim the night event and the summer of respect campaign which, again, is about raising awareness and vigilance when it comes to violence against women and children.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Minister, why is it important to reuse COCA money for this purpose?

MR CORBELL: Thank you, Ms Berry, for the supplementary. The COCA money, as it is known, or compensation of criminal assets money, is a very useful fund because it sends a very clear message that people will not benefit from the proceeds of crime. Instead those assets will be seized where a conviction has been recorded and they will be used to benefit the community as a whole. Reallocating this money to positive initiatives like the ones I outlined earlier is a start to making wrongs right. Indeed it turns a criminal act into a beneficial act for our community. By reinvesting the proceeds of criminal activity into programs like this, we are actually making a positive difference.

I am looking forward to hearing from those community organisations that are keen to access these funds into the future. In particular, I am keen to see applications from a broad range of community-based organisations. In addition to the grants that I outlined earlier, we have also seen the money used for a range of other things, such as

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