Friends of the Theatre's Lyn Powell, Dorothy Pascoe, Bev Fellows and Peter Miller on Monday afternoon at Gladstone Entertainment Centre.
Friends of the Theatre's Lyn Powell, Dorothy Pascoe, Bev Fellows and Peter Miller on Monday afternoon at Gladstone Entertainment Centre. Kerri-anne Mesner

Wait for pay day

IF patience is a virtue, Gladstone’s Friends of the Theatre volunteers should have halos above their heads.

Four volunteers waited an hour for a ministerial appointment yesterday afternoon, but it was well worth the wait.

The Friends of the Theatre were one of 119 groups in the Flynn electorate to receive funding grants under Minister for Communities Jenny Macklin’s portfolio, through the Volunteer Grants initiative.

The friends group, which has 67 volunteers and has been operating for 16 years, received $2600 to purchase a new laptop computer which treasurer Bev Fellows said would make life easier for the committee to be able to access information and send emails.

“Not everybody has a computer,” she said.

Thirty-two organisations in the Gladstone region shared in $101,077 funds, while 20 groups in Banana Shire shared $79,400.

The minister visited Gladstone to make the announcement about the grants, along with talking to Gladstone families about the Labor Party’s Paid Maternity Leave.

Ms Macklin said the Labor Party knew there were a lot of mums and dads in the Gladstone region that were unable to access paid maternity leave, particularly people who had part-time, casual, seasonal or contract work.

She said it was also transferable between partners.

Ms Macklin said Opposition leader Tony Abbott recently admitted the LNP’s paid maternity leave would be funded by a new tax of 1.7 per cent on big businesses.

“Anytime anyone here in Gladstone goes to Coles or Woolies, they are going to pay more for everything they buy,” Ms Macklin said.

Local families who have a baby on or after January 1 next year will receive up to 18 weeks parental leave pay, at the National Minimum Wage (currently $570 per week before tax).

“For 12 years, the Liberal-National Coalition refused to deliver paid parental leave,” Ms Macklin said.

“Now Mr Abbott wants to hit business with a $10.8 billion tax on companies like Coles and Woolworths, which will increase cost of living pressures on Australian families.”



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