Govt Slammed for Excluding NFPs from Recovery Grants
31 January 2011 at 4:13 pm
The Community Council for Australia (CCA) has called on the Federal Government to make Not for Profit organisations eligible for flood relief and recovery grants.
While CEO of the CCA, David Crosbie welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement of a new flood levy, he urged the government to ensure Not for Profit organisations are included in the recovery process.
David Crosbie says while they do not want to be cutting vital programs and services to fund assistance to flood ravaged communities, it is important to the recovery of these communities that Not for Profit organisations are able to access flood assistance in the same way as small businesses and primary producers.
The CCA has been lobbying for Not for Profit organisations to be made eligible for grants and loans that the government has made available for all small businesses and primary producers in the flooded regions.
CCA says NFPs should be eligible for $25,000 ‘Special Disaster Flood Assistance’ grants, announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh on January 3rd, and concessional loans up to $250,000 under the government’s Disaster Relief and Recovery arrangements.
Crosbie says that Tim Costello, Australian of the Year Simon McKeon, and Julia Gillard have all talked about the invaluable contribution of the Not for Profit sector, particularly in times of crisis or tragedy.
However he says this means very little when there is no assistance for the local Not for Profit organisation wiped out by the floods.
The CCA has released a case study to highlight the plight of flood affected Not for Profit organisations.
According to the case study, Riding for the Disabled Australia’s McIntyre Centre saw their entire riding facility submerged by the floods and their thrift shop at Goodna was destroyed.
As a Not for Profit organisation, they are unable to receive recovery grants to help clean up, repair and recover. The CCA says if they were a for profit business or a primary producer, they would have been eligible.
The McIntyre Centre’s Julie Toms says they cannot understand why the shops next door (for profit businesses) are eligible for flood assistance grants but they are not.
She says accessing these grants is vital for them to be able to re-build their business and get it up and running once again.