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Tuesday, 20 September 1994
Page: 1024

(Question No. 1648)


Senator Short asked the Minister representing the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, upon notice, on 24 August 1994:

  (1) Has the department, or any of its agencies or statutory authorities, approved or made available any grants, or other forms of payments, to trade unions or community groups in the 1993-94 financial year; if so, in each case: (a) what is the name and address of the trade union or community group which received the funds; (b) what was the amount involved; (c) what was the purpose of the payment; (d) under what program was the payment made; (e) who approved the payment; and (f) what acquittal requirements are there pertaining to the payment, and are there any outstanding acquittals.

  (2) Has the department, or any of its agencies or statutory authorities, approved, made available, or does it intend to make available, any grants, or other forms of payments, to trade unions or community groups in the 1994-95 financial year, if so, in each case, please provide details as per (1)(a) to (f).


Senator Collins —The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission has provided the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs with the following information in response to the honourable senator's question.

  (1) No grants were made to trade unions in the 1993-94 financial year.

  (2) An allocation of funds has been approved to a union to be expended in the 1994-95 financial year the details of which in respect of the particular questions asked are as follows:

  (a) The union is the Australian Services Union (ASU) National office located at 2nd Floor 116-124 Queensberry St Carlton South VIC 3053

  (b) The amount approved was $108,000.00

  (c) The allocation of funds has been provided on a fee for service basis to the ASU to conduct a range of activities involving 200 ATSIC funded indigenous community organisations in Western Australia to assist them in implementing the Movement to Award Wages (MAW) Program.

  Activities are associated with the promotion and implementation of the MAW program (copies of program guidelines have been provided for information) involving:

  an explanation of the industrial relations system

  co-ordination of participation from employer representative organisations, funding bodies and the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR)

  the eventual development, negotiation and ratification of an appropriate award to cover the 200 organisations

  The two main areas of expenditure identified by the ASU in preparing the proposal have been $30,000 for the preparation, printing and distribution of information and training material and $60,000 for meeting and associated, travel and accommodation costs for representatives of the 200 organisations to come together to discuss and finally negotiate the award.

  (d) The provision of funds has been approved under the program support allocation of the MAW program which is administered under Component 3.2 of the ATSIC Economic Program.

  (e) The payment was approved by the Chief Executive Officer of ATSIC.

  (f) Acquittal requirements are administered on a cost re-imbursement basis following submissions by the ASU accompanied with receipts indicating expenditure on activities directly associated with the approved project and in accordance with the agreed areas of expenditure indicated in the proposed budget accompanying the original application. There are at present no outstanding acquittals and to date no actual funds have been provided.