Page 609 - Week 02 - Thursday, 22 February 2018

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communities) grants program have supported the ACT community for a number of years, funding a range of projects over the past four years.

Last year under the community support and infrastructure grants program, 37 organisations shared total funding of $220,000 for their projects. The grants funded some essential infrastructure upgrades. For example, Companion House, a community organisation that assists survivors of torture and trauma, was successful in receiving funding to upgrade its phone system. The new high-quality conference phones that Companion House purchased enabled their clients to remain in a safe and confidential space with access to offsite interpreters. I am told that this has made a significant positive impact for clients at Companion House.

Other initiatives funded under the community support and infrastructure grants program included accessible kitchen equipment for the ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service, better known to most of us as ADACAS, and solar panels for the new Gungahlin mosque.

Under last year’s participation (digital communities) grants program, 37 organisations shared a total funding of $115,749.23 for their projects. The ACT Deafness Resource Centre received a digital communities grant to redesign its website to make it compatible with mobile devices. The Deafness Resource Centre relies heavily on digital media to communicate with their members. The upgraded website will utilise a different format to enable members of the deaf and hearing impaired communities to access the website from their mobile devices.

Among other organisations, Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services for the ACT was also a recipient of a digital communities grant. This funded a digital literacy program for seniors and mature aged workers.

These grants programs enable community organisations to better include and support all Canberrans in the life of our city in line with the ACT government’s strong commitment to social inclusion across the board. (Time expired.)

Minister for Planning and Land Management—Europe delegation

MR PARTON: My question is to the Minister for Planning and Land Management in relation to his study visit to Prague as reported on ABC radio this morning. Minister, you said you were not in control of the $2,400 bill or the dinner venue as these were decisions made by your directorate on your behalf. Minister, why did you fail to exercise your own judgment about the excess of this dinner? Do you think it is within community standards to spend $200 per head of taxpayers’ money on a dinner in Prague?

Mr Hanson: Go to Hibberson Street.

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Parton for his question and Mr Hanson for his interjection of “Go to Hibberson Street” for dinner. I will put it to the next delegation that comes to the ACT that if they want to deal with the Canberra Liberals on

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