Funding cuts hurt Alice: Chamber of Commerce survey


Kay Eade
Government funding cuts to Indigenous programs have pulled millions of dollars out of the Alice Springs community, and will cost jobs, according to a survey of its members by the local Chamber of Commerce.
Its CEO, Kay Eade (pictured), says the survey received 33 responses.
Here are the details:-
Did your organisation receive less funding this round for ongoing projects? – 33 responses
Yes – 52%
No –  48%
If so, in which sector will this affect?  –  26 responses
Youth – 23%
Health – 12%
Community Development – 31%
Other – 35%
Due to the reduced funding, will you need to make staff redundant?   –  27 responses
Yes – 63%
No – 37%
If yes, how many employees will loose their jobs?  –  17 responses
1–15 82%
15–30 18%
Staff that will be affected, do they live in?  –   14 responses
Remote area – 50%
Major centre – 43%
Both – 36%
Staff that will be affected, are they?    –   14 responses
Indigenous – 93%
Non-Indigenous – 57%
Compared to funding received previously, how much decreased funding did you receive?  –  12 responses
5 responses with monetary value + $3,420,000
3 programmes not funded (no monetary value supplied)
1 response quoted 1% of project funding received (no monetary value supplied)
1 response quoting 50% of funding was received (no monetary value supplied)
2 responses not stating if funding was successful
Due to the decrease, do you think there will be a social impact in your community?  – 14 responses
Yes – 100%
No – 0%
Due to the decrease, do you think there will be a social impact placed on the major centres?
Yes –  94%
No  –  6%
If you received the full funding requested, were you asked to supply extra services in this project?  –  17 responses
Yes – 37.5%
No – 63.5%


  1. Apparently there were over 2400 programs operating and fewer than 50% re-applied for funding.
    And of those that did re-apply many of them were late with their submissions.
    I wonder how many of our local organisations were late or just didn’t bother submitting their requests and are now complaining.
    It will impact on the whole community but it is tax payers money and must be used in a responsible manner.

  2. I see that the youth project position at Yuendumu has been advertised even though the previous occupant in that position was allegedly murdered by youth he was assisting.
    That position should definitely have been defunded.
    Sends a very poor message and makes you wonder how much thought has gone into deciding which programs should continue to get funding.

  3. Looks to me as though the survey omitted a couple of critical questions. They could be worded like the following:
    Did your program (a) make a real difference and/or (b) did it just make you and your staff feel good?
    If your answer is (a), please provide evidence.
    If your answer is (b), why do you think government should keep giving you money?
    If you answered both (a) and (b), demonstrate the taxpayer is getting value for money.

  4. I wonder if Janet Brown acknowledges just how much money the black dollar brings into the town of Alice Springs.

  5. @ Michael. Yes it is true what you said about the black money. What is equally true is that due to a Darwin eccentric mentality that began in the time of the CLP government in the 80s money was slowly dwindling to us in Alice Springs and over the years this mentality stopped our economic growth and progress.
    It is clear now that with the government spending on aboriginal issues that funding was enormous and Aboriginal organisations grew and with it so did the social issues.
    The dam was open to tax payers’ money and it was consumed with vigour as a race of people fell deeper and deeper into poverty and welfare dependency. Aboriginal organisations became wealthier and were almost guaranteed full funding and in most situations for doing nothing.
    Our economic growth should come from government investment into infrastructure and by private investment in business and services. Economic investment with long term economic growth.

  6. We criticize the Aboriginal industry for greed and money grasping but in the NT, we too have become addicted to handouts as per the crumbs from the table of Aboriginal organisations.
    However, my criteria has now altered – I’m leaving to live south and will be semi-retired. Our kids are now in the workforce.
    Whereas I used to vote ALP, their unwavering support of all things Aboriginal no longer suits my lifestyle as a apart time worker soon to need a pension, the Aboriginal need for funding competes directly with my need for support in old age.
    The stupid and unrestrained policies of the Rudd / Gillard years have added an enormous burden to my kids’ ability to earn and live as well as I have in the future.
    Working people should open their eyes and see that the ALP is now contrary to workers welfare and should vote for anything any thing other than ALP / Greens.
    But in a nutshell – no more funding for Aboriginal organisations because we workers will miss out our share when we retire.

  7. The Chamber of Commerce should be concerned with economic growth generated from private industry and govt investment into infrastructure.
    The town cannot live forever on a handout mentality! That view is way too common in our town. Yet this survey report seems to imply just that and is as I read it an attempt to apply pressure on government to continue the same-ol’ doling out of money for many questionable outcomes.
    Economic growth based largely on government largesse cannot survive indefinitely. Nor @ Michael Liddle can organisations whose business model is largely based around regular top-ups from the gravy-train.
    Not sure what point @ Michael Liddle is trying to make beyond the obvious. But either way I feel that @ Janet Brown amply answered though perhaps not to Michael’s liking.
    As for the puerile and insulting comment from @ Boris Badenoff, the less it is acknowledged the better.

  8. The cuts need to be done. At the moment the government is borrowing one hundred million a day to pay interest bill.
    The books need to be balanced. What has been achieved by some of these programs?
    The town is going backwards due to a lot of migrants sending large amounts of money home, hence draining the town dry.
    [ED – According to Australian Debt Clock, Australia’s interest payments amount to $14.2 billion per year, $38.9 million per day, $451 per second. The debt per citizen is $16,934. Australia’s debt is 23% of its Gross Domestic Product.]

  9. Federal money or social security money has to stop. It is a temporary measure, not a way of life.

  10. Aboriginal money isn’t about welfare money. It’s money spent on delivering services and programs in our town, that creates jobs, that boosts the economy.
    There is next to no government investment in infrastructure or facilitating private investment. It’s just not happening.


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