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Default ACON funding debate
A BITTER row has erupted in Sydney's gay community after a group of prominent activists accused the state's leading homosexual health service of squandering millions of dollars in taxpayers' money.

Gay rights campaigner Gary Burns, HIV lobbyist Shayne Chester and journalist Peter Hackney have demanded the state government "demolish" ACON, formerly known as the AIDS Council of NSW.

The trio alleged the service, which specialises in HIV prevention, care and support, received $12.6 million in government funding last year but spent only $800,000 on programs and services. In a scathing attack, the group dubbed the organisation a "gravy train" and called on Premier Kristina Keneally to hand back ACON's work to NSW Health.

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Nicolas Parkhill.
"ACON holds nebulous conferences, seminars, workshops, initiatives, meetings, information sessions and awards nights with disturbing regularity," Mr Hackney said.

"They are all catered for, with smoked salmon, ham and avocado, freshly squeezed orange juice and even champagne – and we all know who's paying for it."

Mr Chester said NSW had had high rates of HIV infection for more than a decade, and this was compounded by an increase in unprotected casual sex among gay men.

"Why is this happening?" he asked. "Because ACON, which is chartered with HIV education and prevention, is failing us."

ACON's annual report for last year shows it spent about 60 per cent of its budget on salaries and a further $882,000 on administrative costs. An additional $500,000 was spent on "travel and representation".

ACON chief executive Nicolas Parkhill defended his organisation and called the activist group members "three serial complainants who sit on the fringes of the gay community blowing their own trumpet".

"ACON employs 115 staff to deliver programs and services across NSW and benchmarks its salaries against similar organisations," he said.

"We're also a pioneer of programs addressing broader health issues, such as mental health and drug and alcohol issues, which can impact on vulnerability to HIV."

In NSW cases involving HIV infection peaked in the mid-1980s, with 1636 diagnoses reported in 1987. Since then rates have dropped dramatically, with 327 new cases recorded in 2009, although that is a slight increase from 323 in 2008.

A NSW Health spokeswoman said the government had been involved with ACON since 1985. "Their work has contributed to these improved outcomes," she said.

She said ACON had consistently met its annual financial and performance requirements and would receive a further $9.7 million in the coming year to provide services priority groups including gay men, sex workers, Aboriginal communities and people living with HIV.

Perhaps the question that Burns, Chester and Hackney should also be asking is how ACON gets away with spending money fundraised in the name of HIV on 'other projects'.

This would be an excellent question for the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing and NSW Health. Should any member of the public approach these bodies and request an audit of ACON's fundraising and spending for the duration of the reign of Ms No Name they might find that ACON has some interesting and creative ways of spending cash raised in the name of HIV.

Ms No Name might also find herself having to answer some incriminating questions in regard to 'moving funded money around' should someone also request an audit. This might get in the way of her attaining her law degree, if she ever passes any exams.
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great here we go again with a lot lot of peops creating brand new profiles so they can have the next worlds longest argument over ACON's misappropriated funds. yawn

Last edited by datkindagal: 24th January 2011 at 09:53 AM

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Omg
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ok have my refreshments and ready for the show
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wow

Quote:

"They are all catered for, with smoked salmon, ham and avocado, freshly squeezed orange juice and even champagne – and we all know who's paying for it."

I think I will put my resume in
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I'm at work and exceptionally bored. I bet this one isn't as exciting as the other ones.

If Shayne Chester, Gary Burns and Peter Hackney wrestled in a baby pool full of dog food. Who do you reckon would win?
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The dog-food?
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Touche my little Douche
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OMG, do you do ANY work my little spider? Bless
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Originally Posted by badamj2000 View Post

OMG, do you do ANY work my little spider? Bless

HA- that's a good one!
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I have the utmost respect for Peter Hackney! He is a great journalist and a nice guy, and it kind of disturbs me he has been lumped into the 'Serial Pest' category.
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ACON may be guilty of all the above accustions, however, I fail to see how handing over the funding to NSW Health will improve anything. Having worked for our States Health System, I can assure that GLBT community is not anywhere near its top priorities. Its likely what little funding is going towards HIV prevention and care strategies will disappear all together. Beware what you ask for is all I'm saying!
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ACON is not just a gay org, sorry to burst the bubble
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What I dont understand is them coming back here ?

The threads always end up in a mud slinging/name calling bitch fight.

The boys have got their names in the papers/media so its now left up to the Govt
to decide what will happen with ACON.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by TheOldie View Post

The boys have got their names in the papers/media so its now left up to the Govt
to decide what will happen with ACON.

Considering what's about to happen with the election, it could be quite well timed.

I suspect Mr O'Farrell will take an axe to lots of things come March 27. And ACON might just be somewhere in the middle of the axing and so people might not take much notice.

I'm hoping he does something about those stupid stupid railcorp workers... sorry "employees" (they don't do much work).... and remove their stranglehold on Sydney.

Last edited by JayTee: 24th January 2011 at 04:56 PM

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Well this thread has been disappointing
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Quote:

Originally Posted by TheOldie View Post

What I dont understand is them coming back here ?

I suspect because this article was in the SMH two Sundays ago and they got sick of it being completely ignored. I've been waiting for one of them to turn up on here.

I think the bit at the bottom is trying to suggest that someone should make a complaint to the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing. I suppose after their rather embarrasing failure at getting BGF closed down through the spurious complaint made to the OLGR they realise they can't go back there again tehmselves, and are trying to get some other poor dope to do their dirty work for them.
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Last edited by Dsquare: 24th January 2011 at 07:07 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dsquare View Post

I suspect because this article was in the SMH two Sundays ago and they got sick of it being completely ignored. I've been waiting for one of them to turn up on here.

I think the bit at the bottom is trying to suggest that someone should make a complaint to the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing. I suppose after their rather embarrasing failure at getting BGF closed down through the spurious complaint made to the OLGR they realise they can't go back there again tehmselves, and are trying to get some other poor dope to do their dirty work for them.

To be honest I was quite happy for them.

Finally they were being published/mentioned in the big time media etc so their complaints will get heard.

But to come back here is sad. Especially after all the shite they said about SS and SSO and posters etc.

And the Ms No Name and the money comments are sad as well. Remember the the BGF thing they were prattling on about Farms and suitcases of money and that went nowhere.

Still at least they have gone to the top and so will get their hearing.

Last edited by TheOldie: 24th January 2011 at 08:19 PM

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I just can't believe that they have avocado at their catered meetings. Outrageous.
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Originally Posted by datkindagal View Post

ACON is not just a gay org, sorry to burst the bubble

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I'm still in shock that this thread has remained so civil- and it's been over 24 hours since it was posted.

It's a post Xmas/ pre Easter miracle
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You are all poo-poo-heads!!!
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Easter has already started
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I think we have become immune to the debacle.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dsquare View Post

I suspect because this article was in the SMH two Sundays ago and they got sick of it being completely ignored. I've been waiting for one of them to turn up on here.

I think the bit at the bottom is trying to suggest that someone should make a complaint to the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing. I suppose after their rather embarrasing failure at getting BGF closed down through the spurious complaint made to the OLGR they realise they can't go back there again tehmselves, and are trying to get some other poor dope to do their dirty work for them.

Now we both know that if one Googles several combinations of the words: ‘ACON taxpayer drug guide outrage police complaint’ one will see that this has filled the mainstream media for more than one week in a row, and has even prompted discussion on Channel 7 Sunrise and radio 2UE this week.

I don’t know about “failure at getting BGF closed down through the spurious complaints made to the OLGR” – common recollection is that the OLGR complaint was merely to force BGF’s accountability and was, therefore, a major success, which saw erstwhile fooled donators coming to their senses – and we see in this week’s gay media that BGF’s CEO has, ultimately, announced her resignation.
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fight fight fight
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Of course, my only reservation here is that ACON’s 'Routes of Administration’ booklet has not just fallen from the sky but has been around for years, so one can only speculate as to why it is suddenly getting this attention – has Gary Burns just awoken from a deep sleep?
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That's sad 4 u , honey, but most of us are getting on with our lives and seeing the B/S that is [was] ACON, etc.

Last edited by str8up: 25th January 2011 at 04:22 PM

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