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Funding Decision For Mojo Mathers

9 March 2012

Parliament’s Speaker, Lockwood Smith, says that having complied with all legal requirements he is now in a position to make a final decision regarding funding support for Mojo Mathers.

“Mojo Mathers is being provided with the services she needs, and these services are currently being funded by my office. The only issue outstanding has been where the funding should come from in the long term, as on-going funding by the Speaker’s Office is not possible.

“I have consulted the Parliamentary Service Commission, as required by the Parliamentary Service Act 2000, and proposed a mechanism that would have given me, as Speaker, the flexibility to meet the needs of any disabled or impaired members from the significant taxpayer funding provided for the support of all members. I am disappointed that we have not been able to find a solution that gave me that flexibility.

“Having consulted the Parliamentary Service Commission, as required, the decision I am now making will provide Ms Mathers with the additional support she needs to be an effective member of Parliament on an on-going basis.

“I am issuing a direction to the Parliamentary Service which will provide the lawful authority to provide equipment and personnel services to Ms Mathers while she is a member of Parliament. Specifically, Ms Mathers will continue to have access to electronic note takers while she is an MP. This support will be in addition to that to which she is already entitled, to ensure she may fulfil her role as a member of Parliament.

“The cost of these services will be met from the Parliamentary Service’s baseline and is additional to the funding provided to support all members.

“Quite separately, I wish to develop a captioning service to make proceedings of the House more accessible to the hearing impaired. Services for the business of the House are not subject to the advice of the Parliamentary Service Commission. Consequently, I intend working with the Office of the Clerk to develop this service and will raise this with the Standing Orders Committee which deals with such matters.”

********

ENDS

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