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Sunday, 03.18.2018
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The Community Grants Program.

The Community Grants Program.


Each year Manningham council gives away around $1.7 million to not-for-profit groups that deliver community activities in Manningham.

Usually the program is oversubscribed and the council receives applications for around twice the amount of money they budget for the program (Minutes 12 Dec 2017. page 145 2.3).


A Bit of a Feeding Frenzy.

It appears that community groups inform each other that money is available. Most applicants hear of the funding opportunity by emails sent between each other (page 146 3.3.4). It appears the council's program is well known among community groups and is a major source of much sought after funding.

The council is very vague about criticisms they receive from these groups about the way they manage this program. (Page 146 3.3.3.) The council wants to say they are getting better at managing this program but there is still quite a number of organisations who do not rate the council well in the way they are treated. They do not release a lot of information about organisations that rate the council poorly. It appears that there is a bit of a feeding frenzy going on and sometimes toes get stepped on and people are treated badly.

Regarding the fact that the council says they are rated well, we need to remember that these organisations are professional groups and you do not get money from a local council if you publicly criticize them and complain about how you are treated and rate the council badly. Something significant must have happened for some groups to be openly critical of how Manningham Council runs the program.


Why Training Programs?

These organisations also say they value the training programs the council offers. Apparently the council offers training courses to deliver activities more efficiently and effectively (page 147 3.3.7) In fact the council is expanding and developing it's training program for these organisations.

This struck me as a bit odd. I would have thought that community groups who apply for funding would already have track record of identifying target groups and strategies and activities to reach them.

But the council has a very narrow idea of what they want to fund. They will only fund programs that are carefully aligned with council objectives. So these training courses they offer, I presume, are to make sure there is no misunderstanding about what the council objectives are.


We are not interested in what you are currently doing.

What is odd its the council will not give money to a community organisation that has already commenced delivering activities (page 154 2.2). They only want to fund new activities that align with council objectives. And they don't want to fund activities already being delivered. They only want to fund entirely new projects that have not commenced.

This is odd because this means all those charitable groups who currently reach out to the poor, the homeless, the youth, and so on, are excluded from these council grants.

What is also interesting is the council is keen to expand this grants program to "more diverse and hard to reach groups". (page 147 3.6). In fact the council is translating the grant guidelines into the languages of these hard to reach groups and providing interpreter services.

The council is quite clear about their program. If you want money from the council, you have to work to achieve the council's goals and strategies (page 147 4.1). If you have your own mission to some group of people then there is no money for you. If the council thinks your proposal does not fit in with their goals and objectives then there is simply no money for you either.

Years ago I met someone who ran the "Road Construction Company". He said R.O.A.D. meant Raise Ourselves Advance Develop. One night a week he would open his workshop in Springfield road and teach teenage boys wood working and other skills. His objective was to get them off the streets and teach them something productive and provide them with a bit of guidance. I never found out whether or not he was part of a larger organization. But on reflection I think he must have been. The point is that people and organisations like him who have existing activities in place would be excluded from these council funds.

Manningham council is quite clear that grant applications are assessed according to their understanding and alignment of Council and Community priorities. (page 148 4.2).


A Different Type of Charity.

So just what are Manningham Council's priorities for these groups?

When you read the council guidelines you realize that these organisations must see the world as the council sees the world. Please let me explain. The groups of people to be targeted are:

  • individuals and groups who experience social disadvantage or isolation

  • older residents

  • people with disability

  • young people

  • culturally and linguistically diverse

  • women and children experiencing violence.


And your objectives must be:

  • respond to a demonstrated community need with a focus on vulnerable individuals and groups

  • provide for the inclusion and participation of all members of the community... responses that enable vulnerable individuals and groups to participate in local activities and opportunities.

  • Foster and inclusive and harmonious community ...

  • Enhance the health and well-being of the Manningham community

  • support a safer and more resilient community

  • encourage collaboration between council, groups, etc. ...

  • Enhance community outcomes through organisational change or development such as capacity building or research.

    (see page 160 section 5).


From the above we can see that Manningham Council has a different view of charitable community work. Years ago, charitable organisations, like the man I met in Springfield road, wanted to reach one person at a time to help them to grow as individuals.

What the council seems to be doing now is hoping to reach whole communities of people, especially those hard to reach groups, to encourage them to join in and participate in the community.

A very strong theme running through the council's program is to make sure everyone in the community feels included and participates. They do not want to have groups of people that feel isolated and left out.

And the council wants to use every means possible to achieve this. Let's look at a their usage of arts to achieve their objectives.

Some of the objectives for the arts component of the program are:

  • Utilize arts as a means to enhance the inclusion and participation of all members of the community.

  • Celebrate local culture, it's diversity, history and identity and promote cross cultural practices.

  • Foster community spirit and a sense of belonging through cultural and social inclusion

    See page 162 5.2.1.


Even in their small grants component of the program, there is this theme of inclusion and participation:

  • Facilitate community participation in a range of local activities and enhance access for individuals and groups that are identified as having high needs. See page 164 5.3.1.


I don't think many would object to the councils objectives. We don't want whole groups of people feeling excluded from the community. It is something that needs to be addressed.



The Elephant In the Room.

But I think there is a lot more going on that is not mentioned by the council. Please see this video here.


A few things to note from the video:

  • There are obviously ongoing issues with migrant gangs that the state government does not want to announce to the public at large.
  • Also the state government does not want to openly tackle these problems. The Police minister said this is a problem for the Federal Police. However it was pointed out that the Victorian Police have far more manpower and resources to tackle the issue of gangs. I think most would say it is something the state government should address. But they are extremely unwilling to do so.
  • We can see the gangs are extremely violent.
  • We can see the media also down play the involvement of migrants saying they were all born in Australia suggesting it is not behavior they brought in from overseas but something they learned here.
  • Note also how the Victorian police minister is concerned about the safety of police when confronting these gangs. Unfortunately for them, that is what we have police for. Would the police minister rather the community confront these gangs and dish out our own form of Justice? Off course not. The police are paid and it is their job to confront the more violent aspects of our community. If they are worried about danger, then unfortunately that goes with the territory.

We are left with the impression that the Victorian State Government does not want to address this problem.


The Hidden Government Agenda.

Why would that be, do you think?

Well those in the ALP, the media and so on, talk about things like racism, cultural issues, disadvantage, compassion and so on. But I think the real reason is that the ALP nearly always embarks on a campaign to gather new migrant groups into their voter base.

The ALP and their supporters will object. But the ALP has basically bought the vote of whole groups of people. For instance they bought the the Electrical Tradesmen by giving them a piece of legislation that was most likely written by the union which essentially protects their job from all forms of outside competition. This is the 'Electrical Safety Act'.

They did the same thing for the plumbers giving them a similar piece of legislation that basically protects their jobs from competition.

I myself am a descendant of a migrant group that came to these shores back in the 1940's. The ALP approached us at the time to become ALP supporters. What is important to note is one of the sections of this migrant group refused and since then have been portrayed in a very bad light in Australian Films and media. This shows the very close links the media and film industry in Australia have with the ALP.

The State ALP also bought the vote of the Islamic community with a piece of Legislation which was exactly what they wanted - The Victorian Racial and Religious Vilification Act. As far as I can tell this legislation has only been successfully used to date prosecuting people who said things against the Islamic community. It has not been used successfully by any other community group as far as I can tell. It appears to be recognized as the sole property of the Islamic community. That is, it is their law - contrary to what the then minister Rob Hull said.

I would say that the Victorian ALP also now wants to rope in the recent influx of African migrants into their voter base. If so, then they cannot go around arresting them and putting them in prison. They simply need to find another way. A softly softly approach that doesn't drive this group of people away from the ALP but also addresses the problem of their anti social behavior.


The Softly Softly Approach.

My hunch is that the Community Grants program may be part of the softly softly approach by the Victorian ALP government.

Note how they are keen to focus on 'hard to reach groups' in the community.

Note it's dominant themes to make people feel included in the community and not left out. And to participate constructively in the community.

I may be putting two and two together and coming up with five. The ALP and their supporters will say I am. But it is quite easy to see how it all could tie together.

And because the state government will not elaborate on their plans to address the problem of violent and predominantly migrant gangs, we are left to put the pieces together ourselves.


Their Approach is Doomed to Failure and We Will All Suffer For it.

If I am right then their plans are bound to fail. Why do I say this?

Just think about it for a minute. Every council will implement different programs run by different groups to reach different people. They will get equally varied results. Each council will manage the program differently, contribute different resources. And overall the results will be very patchy.

It would be much better if the whole thing were managed by the State Government. But my hunch is that they do not want to do that. That would be an open admission that a serious gang problem exists. They want to keep a good arms length from the problem, make it the problem of other people and if it all blows up, possibly even blame it on local issues. You see they have their excuses already figured out.


There is a real problem.

Please do a search on YouTube on the Gang problem in Melbourne and you will see that a serious problem exists.

You will see that many on the left side of politics simply want to deny this. They want to blame the whole thing on white racists, white supremecists and so on. In fact, in the midst of this gang problem, we find the left side of politics currently promoting the issue of white man's discovery of Australia (i.e. Captain Cook) and how that brought misery on the Aboriginal people and should now be condemned and all traces of this travesty removed. (I.e. Capt. Cooks statues are defaced and should be removed).

I am on the view that this is simply a diversionary tactic to take people's attention away from the current immigrant gang problem and focus it onto something else. It is a way of getting the gang problem  out of the news and replace it with something else more palatable to the left.


And there are other problems.

I found this rather worrying video here.

Note how the tradesman in the video tried to report the criminal actions of this migrant to the police and he was turned away from two police stations and got a very unsatisfactory response from a third.

One thing that many on the left are saying is that they do not hear about any instances of migrant gang attacks.

What appears to be going on is the state government is putting pressure on the police not to investigate migrant gang crimes nor include them in the police data base. They have done this in the past to police by using threats regarding promotion and career opportunities.

The objective of the state government appears to be not to have any migrant gang crimes on the police records. In this way the state government can say there is no migrant gang problem because the police have no record of any.

Also notice how the media call the would be killer a terrorist. We know that the police monitor mobile phones, internet activity, and so on looking for any possible terrorist activity in Australia. And they jump into action when they come across any. But here we have a very clear attempt by a man to set fire to a petrol station, kill those inside and possibly kill others. And the police do not even want to take a statement from the tradesman who drove the potential killer off.

This is a very worrying development. Are the police there to protect us or are they there to play politics and look after their own interests? Are we being left to our own devices to protect ourselves from these would be killers?

I think we can be quite sure that if one of us were to take action to protect ourselves against these criminals then the police and the state government would do their best to put us through the wringer and try to have us charged with assault, manslaughter or murder depending on what transpired.

If the police are going to put themselves and their own interests first, while we are left exposed to these criminals, then, yes this is a very worrying situation.

I think that if the police are going to put their own interests first and above ours, then we also need to put our interests first. Remember, our first priority is always, to protect our family. We need to watch out for and protect each other, in every sense of the word, if the police are going to put their own interests first and not watch out for and protect us.


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