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Tuesday, 7 October 2003
Page: 20720


Ms Burke asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 19 August 2002:

(1) Are there any programs administered by the Minister's Department that provide, or have provided, funding to local government authorities in (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98, (c) 1998-99, (d) 1999-2000, (e) 2000-2001 and (f) 2001-2002.

(2) If so, for each program for each of the years that funding was granted to local government authorities, (a) what was the level of funding provided to each local government authority, (b) what was the purpose for which the grant was made and (c) in which federal electoral division or divisions does this local government authority fall.

(3) Have any concerns been raised with the Minister's office or the Minister's Department from (a) local government authorities or (b) other organisations regarding cost shifting onto local government in regard to any programs administered by the Minister's Department; if so, (a) to what program or programs did the concern relate and (b) were any investigations undertaken by the Minister's Department in relation to these concerns; if not, why not; if so, what were the findings of these investigations.


Mr Williams (Attorney-General) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2)(a) The tables below provide details of funding provided under programs administered by the Attorney-General's Department.

Crime Prevention

(1) Fin/year

(2)(a) Amount

(2)(b) Purpose of grant

Grant recipient

(2)(c) Electorate

1999/00

$39,000

Pilot Project - Working with Adolescents to Prevent Domestic Violence (first of 3 payments)

Derby/West Kimberley Shire Council, WA

Kalgoorlie

2001/02

$91,000

Pilot Project - Working with Adolescents to Prevent Domestic Violence (second of 3 payments)

Derby/West Kimberley Shire Council, WA

Kalgoorlie

$8,085

Lighting for Crime Prevention - Launceston Lighting Project

Launceston City Council, TAS

Bass

Total

$138,085.00

NB: No payments were made under these schemes for the 1996-1997, 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 financial years.

Native Title

(2)(b) Native Title payments were made to support a range of activities relating to the representation and support of local government authorities that are respondents to native title proceedings and/or involved in native title negotiations.

Financial assistance is available, through the Attorney-General's Department, to respondents or potential respondents to native title claims, to parties or potential parties to indigenous land use agreements, and to persons involved in other negotiations, inquiries, mediation or proceedings in relation to native title.

The Department's electronic financial information systems have been searched for payments made to local government authorities under native title financial assistance schemes. It has been a long-standing practice, endorsed by successive Attorneys-General, to treat applications for financial assistance in confidence and not to provide information in relation to individual applications. However, these electronic records indicate that payments totalling $662,416 were made to local government authorities between 1996-97 and 2001-02.

Assistance has also been provided to solicitors who act for local government authorities in native title matters. The Department's electronic financial information systems record these payments by reference to the solicitor to whom the assistance was paid. Determining the local government authorities on whose behalf those solicitors were acting would require a manual cross-check of the Department's paper files. This would be an expensive and time-consuming undertaking, which could not be performed within the resources available without adversely affecting the work of the Family Law and Legal Assistance Division.

Emergency Management Australia

(1) Fin/year

(2)(a) Amount

(2)(b) Purpose of grant

Grant recipient

(2)(c) Electorate

1998/99

$8,500

Identify and preparing the special needs population for disasters

Hervey Bay Council, QLD

Wide Bay

1999/00

$2,000

Review of bushfire safety for people with special needs pilot project

Knox City Council, VIC

Aston

$12,000

Awareness/Endurance/Recovery - a kit for coping with the psychological effects of natural disaster

Cairns City Council, QLD

Leichhardt

2000/01

$15,500

Developing a framework for supporting the local agricultural community in times of significant disease outbreak

Murrindindi Council, VIC

McEwan

2001/02

$22,000

Assessment of local government for visualisation of community vulnerability

Shire of Yarra Ranges, VIC

Casey

Total:

$60,000.00

NB: No payments were made under these schemes for the 1996-1997 and 1997-1998 financial years.

(3) No.