from LASA to SA Dept of Human Services & NSW Govt
incorporating Quarterly Reports June 2003 to May 2004
A Desperate Lack of Funding for LASA Staff Wages
This report should be read bearing in mind that at least 1,500 calls (phonecalls, faxes, letters and especially emails) requesting advice have been attended to but not counted in our data, due to the lack of staff time for data entry. This year, there were 48 emailed requests for information which were not answered at all, which came on the Global Lead Advice & Support Service (GLASS) form on The LEAD Group's website. The world wants to know how to manage lead and this is the only service of its kind in the world and needs funding.
The value of donated time from staff was estimated to be around $80,000.00 for the current FY on a total of well over 320 working days. Without this contribution from the Lead Advisory Service Australia (LASA) staff, the excellent level of service on lead-related matters delivered to the community by the Lead Advisory Service Australia and Global Lead Advice & Support Service would not be possible. There was also an estimated $20,000 worth of non-staff volunteer donated time.
The suspension for FYs 2003-5 of the base funding from Environment Australia has decimated the capacity to respond to queries and brought our funding to its lowest level since 1995. We are hopeful of federal funding in the future because of the huge excise earnings of the federal government due to Australia being the largest lead exporter. Enquirers from all over the world are using the Global Lead Advice and Support Service and The LEAD Group feels a moral duty to continue to answer as many overseas queries as possible. We trust that the Federal Government will come to realise that this is a governmental responsibility in the near future and fund GLASS.
It is not ridiculous to contemplate that our three funding agencies could increase their current levels of funding also. With a population of 1,522,500 the South Australian annual grant of $4000 amounts to 0.26 of an Australian cent per head of population and with a population of 6,657,400 the New South Wales annual grant of $20,000 amounts to 0.30 of a cent per head. Other states and territories are contributing nothing yet gaining all the benefits.
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