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Wednesday, 13 May 1987
Page: 3144

(Question No. 5178)


Mr Hunt asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment, upon notice, on 18 March 1987:

(1) What funds have been allocated by the Government to the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers (ATCV) in each year since 1982-83.

(2) For what purposes have the funds been allocated.

(3) What effect have current levels of funding had on the ATCV's activities in WA, including its involvement in the National Soil Conservation Program.

(4 Is it a fact that the ATCV now is experiencing financial difficulties.

(5) What action has the Government taken in response to the ATCV's need for additional funding.

(6) Will the Government consider allowing donations to the ATCV to become tax deductible.


Mr Cohen —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)-

1982-83-$4,500

1983-84-$243,479

1984-85-$503,375

1985-86-$854,692

1986-87-$35,560

(2) Funds have been allocated for the purposes of

(a) administrative support

(b) providing additional work experience opportunities for Community Employment Program target groups which could enhance their employment prospects. These positions were made available on a number of environmental improvement projects administered by the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers in urban and rural areas.

(c) restoration and conservation work at the National Trust property Barwan Park, Winchelsa, Victoria, and in the surrounding district.

(d) restoration work at Fairbridge Farm Village, Western Australia, including revegetation work in the Kalgoorlie, Kambalda and Coolgardie areas.

(e) providing salary and operating costs for a community contact officer to extend the activities of the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers and promote soil conservation throughout Western Australia.

(3) Funding under the National Soil Conservation Program has assisted in increasing community awareness of land degradation and encouraging self help programs for resource conservation in Western Australia. Specific activities undertaken as part of the Program include tree planting, fencing, dune restoration, track installation, salt land rehabilitation and mining restoration.

(4) Representations from the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers indicate that the Trust is experiencing financial difficulties.

(5) Further applications for Community Employment Program and Grants to Voluntary Conservation Organisations funds by the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers will be given consideration through a comparative assessment process together with those from other applicants. This process will determine the most suitable projects for approval in terms of the aims and objectives of the respective programs. The Trust has been encouraged to seek donations from the community in an effort to enable continued expansion of their activities.

(6) A request by the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers for access to the gift deduction provisions was considered during the deliberations preceding the 1986-87 Budget. Although appreciative of the valuable work done by the Trust, the Government was unable to extend the gift provisions to include it at the time. In reaching that decision the Government was obliged to take into account similar requests from many other very worthy organisations as well as the general requirement for restraint in Budget outlays.