If Senator Nash is serious about organ and tissue donation, she should make an announcement on funding for DonateLife Week 2014 this week.
Already two and a half months overdue with the announcement and with the grants round still frozen, Senator Nash was not even aware if she had made any representations to the Minister for Finance.
When asked whether she had made any representations to the Minister for Finance in question time today, Senator Nash responded as follows:
Senator Nash: I advise the Chamber that I will take some advice on that and advise the Senator as soon as possible.
Senator McLucas: Has the minister made representations to the Minister for Finance on behalf of the DonateLife grant applicants, given that DonateLife Week is in February next year? If not, why not?
Senator Nash: I refer the Senator to my earlier answer and will advise her as soon as possible.
What comfort is the organ and tissue donation sector to take from the fact that Senator Nash can’t even recall whether she has made any representations to the minister responsible for the government’s grants freeze.
DonateLife Week is the only spending the Commonwealth allocates to organ and tissue donation awareness. 214 events were held as part of DonateLife week this year with participation by tens of thousands of Australians.
Should the government decide it does not view organ and tissue donation as a priority and won’t fund this round, it should at least have the respect for the community organisations that have applied for funding to advise them of this.