Charities are under immense pressure from government decisions. Divvying up government grants has never seemed easier, because the government does not appear to bother checking if its decisions are in the sector’s best interest.
The Coalition-led scandal involving the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF) was borne out of the highly questionable decision to give almost half a billion dollars to the tiny foundation in April this year without the competitive tender process. This left charities frustrated but fearful that speaking out would cost them grants in future.
David Crosbie, CEO of the Community Council of Australia, told Third Sector that governments need to be more transparent with grants. He added that “most governments expect the charity sector to do whatever the government requires, but at the same time governments seem reluctant to invest”.
The Sydney Morning Herald revealed in October that Guardian Youth Care was receiving grants from the NSW government that was then dealt out to convicted drug smugglers, brothel-owners and murders. The government was behind the grants, totalling $6-million-a-year, so how did it fail to notice the money was going to criminals?
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