Page 608 - Week 02 - Thursday, 22 February 2018

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community organisation, and also allow the organisation to continue meeting work health and safety requirements. Minor physical infrastructure can also be improved or built, allowing for better energy efficiency, improved environmental outcomes or enhanced storage.

Applications for the grants close on 19 March 2018. I encourage all members to make their communities aware of these grants, and I look forward to announcing the successful applicants later this year.

MS ORR: Minister, what is the government doing to reduce barriers to online and digital participation for community organisations and their members?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Orr for her supplementary. The ACT government, through the participation (digital communities) grant program, is supporting community organisations to adopt or enhance their capacity to use digital technology.

A modern and responsive online presence means that community organisations can connect more effectively with our diverse community and Canberrans can more easily find the information they need. Through this program, community organisations can apply for grants to establish or upgrade their websites, purchase ICT software and hardware, conduct digital literacy training for members of the community, and translate and provide online information to members. This can be of special value to culturally and linguistically diverse Canberrans, Canberrans with disabilities and others who might otherwise feel socially excluded from the life of our city or unaware of the services, supports and social activities available to them.

In recognition of the needs of particular communities in Canberra, the digital communities grants include three priority areas for applications. Projects under the three priority areas could be (1) people, projects, activities or initiatives that contribute towards closing the gap on disadvantage, recognising the ACT government’s commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community; (2) targeted digital and/or ICT projects which assist mature age workers, aged 50 plus, to access programs and services that increase their ability to find work, reintegrate back into employment, re-skill and ensure that they remain active and productive members of our community; or (3) projects which raise awareness of domestic violence issues or programs that address the drivers or impacts of domestic violence within the community.

In 2018, the ACT government has made a total of $101,115 available for grants to enhance Canberra’s community digital participation. These applications are open until 19 March, and I again encourage members to make their communities aware.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, what sorts of projects have been funded by the community support and infrastructure grants program and the participation (digital communities) grants program in previous rounds?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Cheyne for her supplementary question. The community support and infrastructure grants program and the participation (digital

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