Page 985 - Week 03 - Thursday, 23 March 2017
the organisations SHOUT supports are in the health sector. There are, of course, other organisations that are neither in the health sector nor the disability sector, and this has made it an interesting matter.
Both Minister Fitzharris and I, as we said yesterday, are keen to ensure that we find a sustainable solution for SHOUT members. Our offices and our directorates are working with SHOUT and a range of other community organisations to ensure that SHOUT members are supported and that the transition to any new funding arrangement is as smooth as possible.
The Community Services Directorate has spoken extensively with SHOUT about the issues and ongoing functioning of the 12 full members of SHOUT. CSD has also spoken to the members who will be most affected by this change to gather further information on the functions and what we can do to support them. (Time expired.)
MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, while all of that sounds very reassuring, from the point of view of SHOUT, what can you tell them, given they say that by the end of this month they have to make a decision?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Le Couteur for her supplementary question. As I have said, both the Health Directorate and particularly the Community Services Directorate have been working directly with SHOUT and with a range of other community organisations to ensure that SHOUT members continue to get the support they need past the end of March and, indeed, beyond the end of May. CSD, as I have said, has spoken with the members who will be most affected by this change to gather further information about the functions that they receive individually from SHOUT.
Of course, I would refute the opposition’s constant claim that our problem is that we do not understand what SHOUT does. I can assure the opposition that we do understand what SHOUT does. We understand what all organisations and supports do and how important they are for the community. The government, before I was around, took a good look at what SHOUT does and assessed that, indeed, it was going to be eligible for ILC funding, which is why it was pointed down that track originally.
CSD has engaged with ACOSS to progress a solution around an approach to supporting both the full members and the associate members of SHOUT. As an important immediate step, workshops with members and other community organisations are being arranged to progress the issue. I reiterate that we are absolutely committed to finding an ongoing sustainable solution for these very important organisations and supporting them through the transition to new funding arrangements.
MS LEE: Minister, given that you have now made numerous statements to the effect that the government will be supporting the member organisations, will you provide direct financial support to any of the member organisations; if so, which ones?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Lee for her supplementary question. The government already provides direct financial support to a number of SHOUT members. I do not have the details of each individual amount in front of me,