Excluding Community Groups from Flood Relief Makes No Sense
Monday, 24th January 2011 at 2:20 pm
Despite being crucial to the rebuilding effort, it's being claimed that Not for Profit organisations in Queensland and Victoria are being excluded from receiving assistance available to small businesses.
CEO of the Community Council of Australia David Crosbie says community organisations are critical in rebuilding flood ravaged regions of Australia, yet programs put in place to support recovery often exclude Not for Profit organisations from receiving assistance.
Crosbie says he has been very disappointed to receive representations from a number of community organisations in places like Ipswich and Toowoomba that could not understand why they were ineligible to receive recovery grants that were available to small businesses and primary producers.
In a statement released today, Crosbie asks ‘Who decided that not-for profit organisations are less deserving of support forrebuilding and recovery within flood ravaged communities than businesses and primary producers?’
He says experiences in the Victorian bushfire regions and other emergencies around have shown that rebuilding businesses is only one part of the recovery process.
Crosbie says one cannot overstate the important roles played Not for Profit organisations, oganisations that he says are at the heart of community life, both economically and socially.
Crosbie says that even if the immediate priority is re-establishing economic activity, Not for Profit organisations contribute over $43 billion to Australia’s economy – significantly more than the agriculture, communications, or tourism sectors contribute.
He says perhaps this exclusion reflects the level to which some governments and policy makers take for granted the organisations that are actually at the very heart of our communities.
Crosbie says he has raised his concerns with policy makers within the Federal government and he understood they were now actively reviewing the situation.
For examples of the grant programs excluding not-for-profits see: