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Community Service Levy Independence Under Threat

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 28 August 2014

Tags: Treasury, Pork-Barrelling

Rampant pork-barrelling by Hodgman government members will be the result if the Liberals succeed in their plan to axe the independent Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF) Board, Greens' Community Development spokesperson, Cassy O'Connor MP, said today.

"In Question Time today, the Premier confirmed his plan to axe the independent Board, established under the Tasmanian Community Fund Act 2005 to administer proceeds from the sale of the Trust Bank for community benefit," Ms O'Connor said.

"Instead, those funds will now be administered and distributed by the Premier's own Department.  That is a recipe for rampant pork-barrelling to the benefit of Liberal Government members and the detriment of community groups which have for many years relied on TCF grants."

"It's yet further evidence of a majority government staggering, lurching, drunk on power that treats democratically established institutions and public funds like its plaything."

"As the Minister previously delegated responsibility for the TCF, I respected the independence of high quality and qualified Board members to determine which community organisations should receive grants."

"Like Ministers before me, I was rightly 'hands off' because it was never the intent of the Parliament in establishing the Tasmanian Community Fund and its independent Board that it become a pork barrelling fund.  In fact, the exact opposite."

"I urge Upper House members not to let the Liberals get away with this when the legislation to axe the Board comes before them."

"The Hodgman Liberals have no mandate to turn the proceeds from the sale of Trust Bank into their own personal slush fund," Ms O'Connor said.