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Tuesday, 5 November 1996
Page: 6573

Mr ENTSCH(10.55 p.m.) —I rise here tonight to comment on some of the recipients of Australia Council funding, as detailed in the 1995-96 annual report. While many worthy organisations, groups and individuals receive desperately needed financial support to pursue and realise their respective cultural, creative and artistic goals, I have to question the suitability of some of the recipients and their contribution to the cultural development of our nation.

The report is rather interesting. The Trades and Labour Council of the ACT Inc. received $58,000. The Australian Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union of Tasmania received $15,000. The Trades and Labour Council of the Northern Territory received $25,000. The Tasmanian Trades and Labour Council received $17,445. The United Trade Unions and Labour Council of South Australia received $43,665. The Ipswich Trades Hall and Labour Day Queensland received $6,970. The Tasmanian Trades and Labour Council received another $480.

It is interesting that the ACTU Queensland branch received $10,000. The ACTU Queensland branch received another $26,165. One has to wonder what contribution they would make to community cultural development. I would suggest that they are possibly running courses to teach their members how they can destroy public property like they did here recently at our magnificent Parliament House. I would suggest very strongly that we need to look very closely at who are going to be the recipients of this type of funding. It is specifically targeted.

Worthy organisations in my electorate—the Reef Festival Committee, the Tribal Colours of the Pacific that I have spoken about previously in the House and the Kuranda Amphitheatre, to name just a few—have missed out. They tried last year to get funding but unfortunately they missed out. There are a lot of other organisations in my electorate that tried very hard to get funding from the Australia Council to support very worthy activities.

It concerns me that unions are taking advantage of this. I would suggest that in the future we need to have a look at this very closely. I am sure there were far more worthy recipients. I hope that in the next round of allocated grants organisations like the ones in my electorate that I have mentioned will be given priority over trade unions.