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Tuesday, 22 May 2001
Page: 26813

Mr Martin Ferguson asked the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, upon notice, on 29 March 2001:

(1) What sum of funding does the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council receive from his Department.

(2) Is the funding agreement of a three-year nature.

(3) Has the organisation met its accountability requirements with his Department.

(4) How many staff members are employed by the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council.

(5) Given the suspension of membership of the Federation by Victoria and Western Australia, does the Federation properly represent all ethnic communities in Australia.

(6) Has his attention been drawn to the recent resignation by the Federation's treasurer; if so, does he know the reasons for the resignation and do they include alleged mismanagement of funds and poor management of the Federation's affairs by the current executive.

Mr Ruddock (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) $350,000 per year.

(2) No.

(3) Yes. Commonwealth funding to the Federation is based on acceptable outcomes against an agreed Work Plan. See also answer to part (5) below.

(4) Four - two full-time and two part-time.

(5) There is some concern about the Federation's ability to deliver fully representative advice to the government. However, the recently elected Chair of the Federation has a formal plan in place to address the perceived problems that have led to the suspensions.

(6) Yes to all three parts.