13 May 2018
The Territory Labor Government introduced changes in Parliament this week to the Community Benefit Fund to ensure it benefits more Territorians.
Attorney-General Natasha Fyles said Territorians want our vital community organisations to receive the funding they deserve through a well-administered Community Benefit Fund.
“The purpose of the changes is to expand the Community Benefit Fund and provide greater certainty and accountability for all Territorians who rely on the Fund,” Ms Fyles said.
“The Government will be increasing the amount of funding available under the Major Grant category to $250,000, up from the current $200,000 maximum.
“Additionally, large community events will have the ability to apply for up to three years funding, with up to 30 per cent of the funding able to be applied for operational purposes, ensuring our wonderful local events will have a firmer financial footing.
“The Minor Grant category will also be increased with up to $15,000 available – an increase from the current $10,000 – and in an important change, applications for these grants will be open continuously throughout the year.”
Ms Fyles said there has been a significant growth in revenue for the Community Benefit Fund – which is derived from a portion of gaming machine profits – since it was established in 2003.
“Following a review of the Community Benefit Fund, the Territory Labor Government has proposed changes to improve management and administration and to maximise the benefits for Territorians,” she said.
“This involves improving processing times for applicants and providing clearer guidelines for using the funds.
“We want to make sure approved applicants have access to funds as soon as possible so they can get started and deliver on their projects for our community.”
Ms Fyles said with the increasing amounts of revenue to the Community Benefit Fund, in particular since the casino’s began contributing in 2015, the introduction of more specific funding categories and clearer guidelines is overdue.
“Clearer guidelines will give the Community Benefit Fund greater flexibility to ensure money is directed to the areas most in need in communities across the Territory,” she said.
The Gaming Control Amendment Bill, which helps deliver the Government’s improvements to the Community Benefit Fund, has been referred to the Economic Policy Scrutiny Committee of the NT Parliament. A report by the Economic Policy Scrutiny Committee is expected in the August sittings.
Media contact: Sara Trenerry 0418 973 602