Page 3196 - Week 10 - Thursday, 15 August 2013

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those who are least able to afford legal representation and often those most in need of it—are able to access it.

The budget for legal aid services delivered to commission clients by private legal practitioners in 2013-14 is $240,000 less than the estimated outcome for 2012-13. This represents a fall of 4.3 per cent. The fall in the budget funding also applies to services provided directly to clients by commission staff, with the commission losing more than $320,000 in funding. Indeed the commission will lose one FTE employee in 2013-14 in order to meet those budget savings. That means only one thing—a lower capacity for service delivery for clients.

The opposition is disappointed. It reflects the government’s priorities but we do support the good work of the Legal Aid Commission.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.25—Public Trustee for the ACT—$706,000 (net cost of outputs), totalling $706,000.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (8.51): The Public Trustee for the ACT is one of the ACT’s quiet achievers. Its business plan is to work towards becoming financially independent, not reliant upon government funding. Amongst other strategies, it aims to achieve this by growing its client base, taking a proactive approach to marketing and promoting new products and services, and being active in the community through the Greater Good Foundation.

Obviously, issues inevitably will come along to thwart the goals of an agency like the Public Trustee. Usually those are bureaucratic processes, red tape and regulation. They all take up time and money.

For the Public Trustee, as well as for many other charities and community-based not-for-profit organisations across Australia, the distracting issue is the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission recently established by the commonwealth Labor government. That is causing significant issues for the Public Trustee and the organisations that it supports. There are improvements that need to be made when it comes to that organisation, and it is hampering the goal of the Public Trustee and its endeavours to become financially independent.

The Public Trustee is a valued agency that goes about its business in an efficient and effective manner. It is one that we should all be proud of. I commend it for its work.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—total appropriated to agencies—$2,589,298,000 (net cost of outputs), $1,059,848,000 (capital injection) and $538,179,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $4,187,325,000.

Question put:

That the proposed expenditure be agreed to.

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