Hindus thank Government for Safer Communities Grants

Hindu Council of Australia thanks the government for recognizing the need for safety for the Indian and Hindu places of religious worship. Many of these places of worship have been subjected to vandalism’s, threats even fire bombs over the years. 
 
Therefore a vital need was there to ensure the safety and protection of patrons to these places of religions worship.  
 
This is why the ability of the minister to intervene in these grants is so vital. The minister must have the authority to be able to intervene in the issuing of grants. 
 
Our communities constantly miss out on grants because the departments have a very bureaucratic, in fact almost a robotic process for deciding on grants. They have taken out the human qualities of grant decision making. They have allowed an industry to bubble up of grant submission consultants and organizations that’s charge thousands of dollars to make applications for the funding.
 
The departments have consistently failed to give grants to the Indian, Hindu, Jain, Buddhist communities. Our communities do not have the financial ability to get grant submission consultants to fill out applications. 
 
We believe it is also important that government organizations recognize the responsibility to support communities irrespective of their background. They must support the government efforts to make the grants process more reflective of Australia’s diverse communities.
 
Our communities are consistently harassed and subjected to racial and religious intolerance. We certainly need the safer communities grants.
 
This is why it is so important that a minister has the discretion to over rule the department. A minister that has been to the temples, has seen the suffering of people, has seen the threats that people face at temples will have a better idea of the reality than a departmental staff member who has no knowledge of the real situation. A department staff member that has never visited a temple or talked to them and is basically in the departmental bureaucratic bubble. 
 
Many departments do not know how their policy will affect Hindus and minority religions. This is largely due to us being very new to the country and due to a lack of religious specialists of newbie minority working in these departments.
 
In view of these we urge you to support the continuation of this type of decision making where a wider cross section of the community has received safer communities grant funding due to the delivery work of the government and the relevant minister. 
 
An examination of the previous grant recipients in earlier years will reveal that one or two major communities get bulk of the funding as they may be using professional grant application fillers. 
 
An independent, a fair and equitable grant process must take into account minority communities that don’t have sufficient funds to afford the grant consultants that make these state of the art brilliant looking applications.