Ms ARMITAGE question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT
With regard to the 2018 election commitment of $20 000 for maintenance and upgrade of the Christ Church at Low Head, given the church is on the list to be sold by the Anglican Church, can the Leader please advise -
(1) Whether the funds have been expended?
(2) Whether the grant agreement was varied specifically to provide for the return of the funds if the church was sold?
(3) Whether the church has been sold?
(4) If the church has been sold, has a request to return the funds been made?
Mr President, I thank the member for Launceston for her question.
(1) to (4)
I have been advised that a grant agreement was executed on 23 May 2018 between the Crown in the Right of Tasmania (the Crown) and the Trustees of the Diocese of Tasmania (the diocese) for the maintenance and upgrade of Christ Church located in Low Head. The agreement allowed for a single instalment of $20 000, exclusive of GST, which was paid to the diocese on 24 May 2018.
Subsequent to the payment of the grant, the Synod of the diocese included the property on the list of diocesan properties proposed for sale and confirmed with the Department of Communities Tasmania that it will not use the grant funds pending a decision regarding the sale of the property.
A deed of variation was executed on 26 November 2018 that allows the Crown to recoup the grant funds in the case that the property is sold prior to 31 December 2020. The clause states -
The Recipient (the Diocese) must repay to the Grantor (the Crown) on demand in writing by the Grantor the grant if the Recipient disposes of the property prior to 31 December 2020.
Under the grant agreement, the diocese is required to inform the Crown if Christ Church is sold. The department responsible for the management of this grant agreement has not received such advice.
When, and if, the Crown receives advice Christ Church has been sold prior to 31 December 2020, the Crown may elect to recoup the grant funds or elect not to require the grant to be repaid if, for example, the property was sold or transferred to another community organisation. This, however, will be a consideration for the Crown at the time. 56 4 April 2019