By Dwayne Monteiro
Health grants to community organisations appear in for a shake-up, with the Queensland Government set to announce a new round of spending cuts.
The Newman Government has already scrapped the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and now it looks like community groups are next in the line of fire for spending cuts.
The Brisbane Times is reporting Health Minister Lawrence Springborg is looking at ways to cut grants.
It is still unclear which groups will be targeted and it has prompted a mixed response from health organisations.
Mr Springborg reportedly says grants would be examined with a fine tooth comb.
Family Planning Queensland spokeswoman Janelle Weissman says it is an unnecessary move.
“Non-government community health services typically deliver health services much more efficiently than government can, and so to scrutinise community health services as ‘trimming the fat’, to us isn’t actually an effective strategy,” she says.
Cystic Fibrosis Queensland CEO Jane Anderson has welcomed calls for greater financial accountability.
“We have a responsibility as organisations to run effective organisations and to be spending this money wisely, well and effectively,” she says.
About $907 million was provided to a range of groups including foundations, health service providers, charities, government agencies and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations last financial year.
Hear and Say Foundation general manager Chris McCarthy says he is still waiting to find out if the foundation will be affected.
“Any scrutiny of organisations that are delivering services to Queensland, in our case children and families, should be looked at,” he says.
But Ms Weissman remains wary of the proposed cuts saying community groups are already doing it tough.
“It’s pretty well known that non-government community health services are doing the most they can with very limited resources,” she says.
QUT News approached the Minister’s office for further comment but have not received a response yet.