Thursday 1 December 2005

Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, this of course is a highly important piece of legislation because it enables the continued operation of the Tasmanian Community Fund and its vital work throughout Tasmania. The fund, which was established in 1999 through the sale of the Trust Bank, makes grants to charities, sporting and recreational bodies, culture and the arts, education and religious organisations and any other types of groups that are approved by its board and the minister. In other words, the fund's work is vital for the continuation of hundreds of community organisations in Tasmania.

Mr Parkinson - Your speech, from what I have heard, deserves a pay rise.

Mr FINCH - Thank you very much.

Members laughing.

Mr FINCH - Its list of grant recipients if diverse and represents every corner of the State. I will mention just a few at random that I picked up from looking at the web site, and jotted down and included in my speech that I wrote upstairs earlier -

Members laughing.

Mr Aird - You can tell a man when he's under pressure.

Mr FINCH - Has my nose grown longer?

Members laughing.

Mr FINCH - For our northern region, $200 000 for the Northern Migrant Resource Centre; $100 000 for the Clifford Craig Medical Research Foundation; $200 000 for the Launceston City Mission's Recovery Centre - these are just to name but a few that are in our area, and I acknowledge the member for Windermere. The list goes on and on and covers just about every conceivable type of community body, and you can see for yourselves, if you were doing a speech yourself and you went to the Community Fund web site, you would be able to see all those other areas where funds have been distributed. It is an excellent web site, by the way, and I would probably draw -

Mr Wilkinson - Can you give us the Web address?

Mr FINCH - It is

Mr Parkinson - A name like that would have been proscribed in the 1960s.

Mr FINCH - That is right. I would highlight to members that the next round of funding will be in February so I think it behoves all of us to encourage our community organisations to get their submissions in and to understand the Tasmanian Community Fund is there and it is there to help groups in our community.

Mrs Rattray-Wagner - We got a letter about two weeks ago; a letter came to our office saying that exact thing.

Mr FINCH - I will get around to reading that in about two weeks from now.

The Community Fund's six-member board under the chairmanship of Gerald Loughran, makes those decisions involving big sums of money and obviously this bill ensures the funds continue in integrity. In supporting this bill, to continue the fund's work, I would like to congratulate the chairman, Gerald Loughran, and also its board members. I congratulate them on their great work for our Tasmanian community.