CALMER WATERS: Mission to Seafarers volunteer Arthur Courtney, executive assistant to the general manager Leisa McLeod and Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher are planning for the future of the organisation.
CALMER WATERS: Mission to Seafarers volunteer Arthur Courtney, executive assistant to the general manager Leisa McLeod and Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher are planning for the future of the organisation. Tegan Annett

Trad promises $100k for group after last-ditch plea

CRIPPLED by debt and left with 11 days to raise $100,000, the fate of the Mission to Seafarers looked dire last Friday.

But an eleventh-hour Queensland Budget reshuffle, announced on Thursday night, will allow the association to continue operating until December.

During a visit to Gladstone on Thursday to spruik her second Queensland Government budget, Treasurer Jackie Trad promised to pull together $100,000 for the group.

"It's not the first time a community-based not-for-profit has had a level of management that has seen them led into financial trouble," Ms Trad said.

"I'm going to go back through the budget to find $100,000."

Ms Trad said the Mission to Seafarers offered vital services to "some of the most marginalised and disadvantaged" international workers who arrive at Queensland ports.

Mission to Seafarers executive assistant to the general manager Leisa McLeod said she was prepared for the worst as the deadline for the group's last-minute funding plea approached.

With money now secured Ms McLeod said the association was considering how it could future-proof its funding model.

"I was amazed when I found out about the donation," McLeod said.

"I was thinking that we would not have enough time (to raise enough money).

"From when we first found out we had 22 days to raise the money but when it got to 11 days it was really sad.

"It really did look dim."

During a meeting on June 14 the group made a last-ditch plea to industries for financial support.

At the meeting general manager Jessica Mulhall said that since being deemed "unsustainable" last year in its current funding model, the group had tried to secure more funds.

The situation worsened in April when the group was made aware of outstanding operational and overhead costs, which had mounted over three years.

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said since the Global Financial Crisis and the industry downturn in Gladstone, big businesses had dropped their financial support for the facility.

Mr Butcher said he would work with the association to develop ways to become sustainable in the long-term.

Mr Butcher said one option was to make it mandatory for businesses to donate one cent per tonne of products they export out of the Port of Gladstone.

Today the Gladstone Suns and BITS Saints will host a charity day for the Mission for Seafarers at Clinton Oval.

More in Sport, Page 37.



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