SENATOR CLAIRE MOORE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CARERS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNITIES
SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND
SENATOR CAROL BROWN
SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR FAMILIES AND PAYMENTS
LABOR SENATOR FOR TASMANIA
LABOR SENATORS CALL FOR AUDITOR-GENERAL INVESTIGATION INTO ABBOTT GOVERNMENT'S COMMUNITY GRANTS DEBACLE
Labor Senators have called for an Auditor General's investigation into the Abbott Government's disastrous mismanagement of funding for vital community services for vulnerable Australians.
This follows the tabling of the Community Affairs Senate Committee Interim Report into the Abbott Government's community grants program.
The Senate Community Affairs Interim Report recommends that the Auditor-General consider a review of the tender process to determine if it complied with the Commonwealth Grants Guidelines.
It highlights the chaotic tender process for the allocation of funding, focusing on the unworkable timeframes and poor engagement with the sector.
I just think we need to affirm to you that the ACT Council of Social Service and our members have described this as the worst tender process they have been part of. Members of ours have talked about never having been treated like this by any form of funder. I think it has been characterised by completely reckless disregard for the work that people do and the contribution that they seek to make."- Ms Susan Jane Helyar, Director, ACT Council of Social Service - Senate hearing 21 April 2015
The Interim Report highlighted significant problems in the management of the funding process.
After the Abbott Government savagely cut $270 million dollars from vital services that support vulnerable communities, families and children it then introduced a shambolic tender process.
It failed to address the significant services gaps caused by the funding cuts and failed to reverse the $270 million in cuts in its short sighted Budget.
Instead, Tony Abbott has set up a slush fund to plug the holes in service provision that have resulted from last year's cuts.
This is a clear acknowledgement that the cuts have significantly compromised services, but the Budget has provided only a short-sighted political fix.
The Interim Report flags the Committee's intention to conduct a further public hearing to examine the service gaps which have been caused by the funding cuts and tender process.
THURSDAY 14 MAY 2015
MEREDITH HORNE (MOORE) 0408 599 800
SUE BAILEY (BROWN) 0417 550 279