Not-for-profit defends its stadium donation
IN reply to June Smith's letter of Saturday, April 7 in which she criticises Key Employment and implies something is wrong if we make a contribution to our community.
Here are the facts.
Key Employment has operated as a provider of disability employment services for over 26 years.
In that time we have placed over 4,000 people into good award wage jobs.
These people many of whom would not have worked without our support have been paid over $11million in wages, paid over $4 million in taxes and not been paid $6 million in benefits.
Our organisation is a Public Benevolent Organisation registered and accredited with the ATO and the ACNC.
We report annually to the ACNC and monthly to the ATO.
Our finances are audited annually by an independent accounting firm.
Our policies are subject to the strictest controls available with internal audits and annual independent audits against the National Standards for Disability Services and ISO 9001-2008.
These are national and international standards.
We spend over $200,000 each year in managing our compliance regime which supervises every claim we make under our deed with our funding body.
The program assurance of this department includes quarterly audits which we have a 100% record over the past 3 years.
This is sector best practice.
A major ambition for Key Employment is the promotion of equality and to represent people of disadvantage throughout our community.
We have contributed over $4million over the past 10 years in supporting this aim.
We are in the Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame for Community Service and have won many regional and NSW awards for our charitable work.
We are a proud member of the Not For Profit sector and join with many others on the Mid North Coast who make significant contributions for the benefit of our communities.
These include social, cultural, sporting and educational events and organisations.
Supporting the Building Better Regions grant for the stadium contributes to increased opportunities for fitness and fun and well as making the ground accessible.
We support the increased employment opportunities and tourism it brings as well as the enhanced reputation for the city.
We have already seen an increase in our profile through the publicity and welcome additional vacancies lodged by local business.
We purchased the old Catholic Club in 2016. It was a sound business decision and furthers our ambition to make a significant contribution to our community.
Our plan is to create an employment, training, disability and youth headquarters on the site with provision for a community garden with access for students and NDIS participants to learn valuable skills and grow healthy organic food. We currently fund our Youth Hub at this site which has already supported 100's of disengaged and disadvantaged young people.
Some are now working, many are training and all are on a journey to achieve sustainable employment.
We too like many other charities are crying out for more money.
We apply almost monthly for grants and donations with little joy.
However we have built a robust effective and efficient business. Our team work really hard to achieve great results.
We are excellent financial managers and any surplus we receive is returned to the community.
So June that is what is going on. I hope this has been enough to satisfy your curiosity however I prefer for you to call in and have a look at what we are doing and what we have achieved rather than make public baseless hints at our ethics and governance.
Key Employment CEO
Who has right of way on roundabouts?
I WOULD like to point out that the rules on roundabouts does not include give way to the right.
The main requirements are that you give way to anyone already on the roundabout and slow down on the approach to the roundabout to avoid an accident.
Unfortunately there are many, who think that "give way to the right" is still applicable and therefore do not slow down on their approach if no one is coming from their right even if someone has legally entered the roundabout from their left.
The politics of coal and renewables
WHAT a useless bunch of politicians there are in the COALition.
All fighting over coal and renewables in the playground of electricity prices and disregarding the effects on climate change.
If only the Nationals could see the light that renewable energy projects are good for farmers, people and the environment instead of digging up and fracking our lands for fossil fuels.
Luke Hartsuyker says that we don't have any coalfields in Cowper but he does say gas is a reliable base load energy.
Does that mean he would support fracking in our beautiful region?
He might not be part of the Monash Forum but he is failing to recognise our region as a renewable energy hub and the jobs that would create in the Cowper electorate.
Brian Mahony, Raleigh
The rail shame of Coffs Harbour
WE'RE gonna promise to do this - be patient - it's 'gunna' happen.
How often have we heard these words. What's my beef?
There's a rail bridge on the northside of Coffs Harbour featuring approximately 40 lights, which should illuminate the structure unfortunately only two lights work.
If you are remotely interested in seeing the bridge fully lit with quality long lasting globes and fittings please make it known to your local member regarding your concern.
With enough voices we may once again be proud of our bridge and who knows a new coast of paint before next Christmas would be a bonus.
Peter Williams, Raleigh
Candidate's political grandstanding
IT is a pity that Alistair Fournel's bid for pre-selection for the Labor Party in the seat of Cowper does not care about the facts or the full impact of the Labor Party's proposed changes to Franking Credits - particularly the impact on self-funded retires.
Our SMSF and other assets combined do not place us in the Mega-Rich department (as no doubt Alistair is).
We fit into the category of retirees referred to in the Financial Review articles dated April 7 and 8 "When $1-million is worth less than $500,000 - Joanna Mather" and 'Labor plan 'would push more on to age pension' - Debra Cleveland'.
The asset test 'rules changes' have already hurt us.
They eliminated our entitlement to the age pension thus causing us to significantly rely on the investment returns of our SMSF and on the Franking Credits within the SMSF and the Franking Credits received from our Personal Investments.
These Franking Credits sustain our ability to earn an equivalent of a joint 'middle income'.
We did not use our Super to Upgrade our home (like many 'sensible' retirees with their million dollar homes) we saved our hard earned money to fund a modest retirement.
A single comprehensive means test should be pursued to ensure that assets are fairly accounted for, to remove distortions based on the form of savings and to ensure that appropriate incentives to save and use savings effectively remain.
The proposed hit on retirement incomes clearly is not just affecting the very wealthy it will substantially damage our lifestyles and all retirees who have prudently saved and are carefully drawing down on their retirement savings.
Viewing all SMSFs as belonging to the mega-rich is simply wrong and insulting.
Changes to dividend imputation should require long transitional timeframes.
We retirees should not need to constantly revise and rewrite our retirement / SMSF plans.
We believe this proposal "unfairly targets" us even though we have been diligent in saving to be more self-sufficient in retirement.
Some impacts this proposal will have are that we and other SMSFs will look to shift investment from Australian companies to foreign companies therefore introducing new risks to our retirement savings and thus it will create other problems for Australian companies.
Political Parties should not see our superannuation as a cash cow - it should ensure people are more self-sufficient in retirement.
We never expected to have to feel guilty for living a conservative and considerate life.
It's bad enough dealing with how to fund increased - health insurance - rates - energy, car registration etc (reductions or free registration given to pensioners and part pensioners) without the latest attack on our very modest income.
Some people need help many others are using the system.
We are becoming a little tired of the 'poor pensioners' who keep getting looked after.
We are seen as 'Mega Rich'. It really is a joke.
Maybe the movie 'The Network' is something those in SMSF pension phase should look to emulate.
Our Mantra should be 'I'm as Mad as Hell and I'm Not Going to Take it Anymore'.
We deserve better.
Pamela and Colin Bourke,