Win over red tape

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - by PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

MOSS­MAN’S Meals on Wheels has scored a well- de­served win over bu­reau­cratic red tape which could ben­e­fit the needy around Aus­tralia.

The MOW was in dan­ger of clos­ing down due to the ex­tra re­port­ing work­load which would have turned vol­un­teers away, ac­cord­ing to man­ager Steve Macrae.

“We have been ex­tremely un­happy with the new ar­range­ments for re­port­ing to and re­ceiv­ing fund­ing from the Depart­ment of Health and Age­ing (DoHaA),” Mr Macrae said.

“We have re­fused to sign the new fund­ing agree­ment be­cause of the ex­ces­sive amount of un­nec­es­sary pa­per­work and the fact that they would be un­der­pay­ing us for our meals.”

Ne­go­ti­a­tions, which have been go­ing on for many months, cul­mi­nated last Fri­day in a phone con­fer­ence with the state man­ager of DoHaA, Liz Cain, to sort out the im­passe once and for all.

“The Depart­ment recog­nised the es­sen­tial value of the ser­vice and have agreed to mod­ify the fund­ing agree­ment to sat­isfy all of our re­quire­ments - it has been a win-win re­sult,” Mr Macrae said.

“The Depart­ment has recog­nised that other Meals on Wheels ser­vices may have sim­i­lar is­sues and will be con­duct­ing on­go­ing re­views to im­prove the abil­ity of Meals on Wheels throughout Aus­tralia to get on with the job they vol­un­teered to do with­out the bu­reau­cracy get­ting in the way.

“We trust that this is a sign the Gov­ern­ment is re­al­is­ing that where we vol­un­teer to do the job, they are paid to make that job eas­ier, not harder.

“It is our hope that what we have done will em­power other vol­un­teer community ser­vice or­gan­i­sa­tions to re­ject the bu­reau­cracy’s ev­er­in­creas­ing and in­sa­tiable ap­petite for pa­per­work which is stop­ping those or­gan­i­sa­tions from ef­fec­tively do­ing the es­sen­tial ser­vices they vol­un­teered to do.”

But even with this win, Mr Macrae said that his or­gan­i­sa­tion still needs vol­un­teers.

“Com­mon sense has fi­nally pre­vailed and the bu­reau­cracy has fi­nally been lifted off our backs and so vol­un­teer­ing for Meals on Wheels has never been eas­ier,” Mr Macrae said.

If you can spare a cou­ple of hours a week and help this wor­thy or­gan­i­sa­tion then call 4098 1105 to get your name on the ros­ter.

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