Question: Multicultural SA Grant Program


Mr TARZIA ( Hartley ) ( 14:22 ): My question is to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Can the minister inform the house why the Punjabi Association of South Australia was unsuccessful in obtaining Grants SA funding from the state government this year? 

The Hon. Z.L. BETTISON ( RamsayMinister for Communities and Social Inclusion, Minister for Social Housing, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Youth, Minister for Volunteers) (14:22): As members know, this government has committed threefold to multicultural affairs. We have increased the funding for grants for stronger families, stronger communities and infrastructure. We have reformed Grants SA and, every month, organisations—volunteer organisations, multicultural organisations— 

Mr TARZIA: Point of order for relevance, sir. This is not related to the specific question we asked. 

The SPEAKER: The minister I think is merely indicating that the total amount of multicultural grants has increased enormously, and I think that is germane to the question, so the member for Hartley is very fortunate that he is not departing. Minister. 

The Hon. Z.L. BETTISON: In the reform of Grants SA, what we wanted to do was simplify it and make it easily accessible for youth, volunteer and multicultural groups for them to apply. 

Mr Knoll interjecting: 

The SPEAKER: The member for Schubert was called to order in the pre-lunch session. He is now warned, and I think he left our company yesterday. 

The Hon. Z.L. BETTISON: One of the key aspects of the reform was to make it very easy for what are traditionally volunteer associations, which is what multicultural functions are, to apply every month for grants. So, every month, you can apply for a grant up to $5,000, four times a year for a grant up to $20,000 and twice a year for grants up to $50,000. So there are many opportunities for the Punjabi Association to apply. 

My understanding is that a decision was made on 17 October for the latest round of minor grants, so I don't know if they have applied for that, and they may well find out post that. Every month, people apply all through the period. I can take that on notice and check what decision was made— 

Mr Gardner: The festival is on Sunday, Zoe. 

The SPEAKER: The member for Morialta is warned for the second and the last time. 

The Hon. Z.L. BETTISON: That decision is made by members from Communities and Social Inclusion plus members from the SAMEAC, who review those applications every month.

Mr GARDNER ( Morialta ) ( 14:25 ): Supplementary question: given the minister's answer, in which she said that it is now easier for multicultural organisations to apply for grants, is the minister aware of the recent cancellation of the Hungarian Paprikás festival initially scheduled for 2 October? Is the minister aware that the organisers identified that the festival was cancelled because in fact the government's changes to the grant application system meant they weren't advised in time of whether they would get a grant? 

The Hon. Z.L. BETTISON ( RamsayMinister for Communities and Social Inclusion, Minister for Social Housing, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Youth, Minister for Volunteers) (14:25): I am advised that that festival didn't go ahead. We have advertised quite clearly, we have written to people, we have emailed people, we have held information sessions about applying for the grants. I am very disappointed to hear that they weren't able to continue with their festivities. If they are happy to contact Multicultural SA, we will assist them in how to apply for the grant. Grants are far more accessible than ever before. The application process is more simple, and every month decisions are made. If people want support, we ask that they apply for it prior to the event.

Mr GARDNER ( Morialta ) ( 14:26 ): Supplementary question: given the minister's suggestion that organisations wanting support should apply for it before the event, and given that the Punjabi Association applied for the grant a month before their Mela and the Hungarian association applied for funding for their Paprikás festival well before their Paprikás festival, can the minister advise what support she gave them? 

The Hon. J.M. Rankine interjecting: 

The SPEAKER: The member for Wright is called to order. 

The Hon. Z.L. BETTISON ( RamsayMinister for Communities and Social Inclusion, Minister for Social Housing, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Youth, Minister for Volunteers) (14:26): Every month, we have more than 50 organisations apply for grants. We have a very clear process. Like I said, this government has contributed more to supporting our multicultural community than ever before—a threefold increase. Mr Tarzia: Why did you reject their application? 

The Hon. Z.L. BETTISON: There is a process that goes through. As I said, they met— 

Mr Tarzia interjecting: 

The Hon. Z.L. BETTISON: A decision was made on 17 October, and I do not know what the outcome of that decision is at this point. I will seek that information. 

Members interjecting: 

The SPEAKER: Treasury's largesse to multicultural affairs is even greater than in my time. Leader.

Mr MARSHALL ( DunstanLeader of the Opposition) (14:27): Supplementary, sir: can the minister go back and find out why the applications were unsuccessful and bring some information back to the house at her earliest convenience?

The Hon. Z.L. BETTISON ( RamsayMinister for Communities and Social Inclusion, Minister for Social Housing, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Youth, Minister for Volunteers) (14:27): I would like to ask the Leader of the Opposition if he has a particular—

Members interjecting:

The Hon. Z.L. BETTISON: Mr Speaker, I am interested for all the other groups, because Grants SA is quite oversubscribed—

The Hon. P. Caica interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The member for Colton is called to order.

The Hon. Z.L. BETTISON: We have lots of groups that apply. Why are you so interested in this group?

Mr Gardner: Well, you pretended to be interested in them for a while.

The SPEAKER: Is the member for Morialta quite finished interjecting?

Mr Gardner: Yes, sir.

The SPEAKER: Thank you. Member for Mount Gambier.