Changed Arrangements for the Provision of Grants to LALCs in 2013/2014

Wednesday, June 19, 2013    

I am pleased to advise that at its 292nd meeting Council approved an increase to the grant to be paid to each eligible LALC in 2013/14.

The approved grant has been increased from $130,000 per annum to a maximum of $133,390 in 2013/14.

As you know NSWALC's "LALC Funding and Financial Obligations Policy" is the principal document that has guided the development of the current funding agreements currently in use.

In preparing to issue funding agreements for the 2013/14 financial year, NSWALC must consider some pending changes to the ALRA that will impact on the current arrangements under which NSWALC provides grant funding to LALCs.

The NSW Parliament is currently considering a proposal to remove s163 from the ALRA and all indications are that this amendment will be passed into law and take effect from 1 January 2014.

This section of the ALRA currently requires NSWALC to immediately cease funding LALCs if they fail to comply with certain other sections of the Act.

NSWALC considers this current statutory requirement to be too inflexible and not the best way to manage grant funding. It provides no basis for considering the reasons for non compliance and allows no discretion in determining whether or not funding should cease.

Although NSWALC has promoted the removal of s163 its requirements have been built into the "LALC Funding and Financial Obligations Policy"

 Therefore this document will have to be revised before 1 January 2014 to ensure that the policy and funding agreements are consistent with the legislative changes that will take effect on that date.

To cover this transition period NSWALC will issue two six monthly funding agreements during 2013/14 instead of one annual agreement.

The first funding agreement will be offered from 1 July 2013 and expire on 31 December 2013. The second funding agreement incorporating the amendments to the ALRA will be offered from 1 January 2014 to 30 June 2014.Each six monthly agreement will refer to funding to the value of 50 per cent of the annual amount, that is $66,695.

In anticipation of the removal of s163 NSWALC has already commenced work in amending the LALC Funding and Financial Obligations Policy. As required by the ALRA, NSWALC will seek and consider comments from the Network prior to seeking the approval of the Minister to the amended policy.

In the coming weeks your Zone Director will be offering the first six monthly funding agreements to eligible LALCs and will be available to assist you in managing the transitional arrangements that NSWALC has put into place.

Lesley Turner

Deputy Chief Executive Officer