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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3254

Mr Holding asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security, upon notice, on 1 May 1980:

(1)   Have Federal grants been made in each of the last 5 financial years to assist in the provision of services and amenities to sufferers of multiple sclerosis; if so, (a) how many and (b) what was the (i) nature and (ii) amount of each of the grants.

(2)   Were any applications for grants for this purpose refused in this period; if so, what are the details.

(3)   Has any allocation of funds to the Department for this purpose remained unspent in this period; if so, what are the details including the (a) reasons the allocation was not spent and (b) relevant appropriation line number.

Mr Hunt - The Minister for Social Security has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(   1 ) Yes, however there are no Commonwealth funding programs directed solely to organisations catering exclusively for people with multiple sclerosis. In regard to my Department the main potential source of funding is through the Handicapped Persons Assistance Act. There are currently three voluntary organisations funded under the provisions of that Act which cater either exclusively or to a large extent for sufferers of multiple sclerosis. The details requested for these organisations for 1974-75 to 1978-79 are given in the table below.

(2)   Yes, at least two applications for assistance through the Handicapped Persons Welfare Program could not be approved within the overall funding priorities. The programs were not considered to be eligible for funding under the Handicapped Persons Assistance Act and were therefore not recommended for assistance.

(3)   There is no individual funding allocation for this or any other diagnostic Group under the Handicapped Persons Welfare Program.

In each of the past5 years expenditure has fallen short of the appropriation covering this program by varying amounts.

There are many reasons for variations between appropriations and actual expenditure: the final expenditure results in any year being largely dependent upon the progress made in approved projects and the submission of claims for payment from organisations in respect of approved commitments.


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