Where's Appeal money?

17 May, 2006 11:18 AM

The Milton Cancer Outpatients Appeal has been dealt a devastating blow with the South Eastern Sydney Illawarra Area Health Service stating it cannot return more than $300,000 raised for a cancer clinic for legal reasons.

However Milton Cancer Outpatients Appeal president Dee Carrington said the committee has received legal advice that contradicts the SESIAHS claim that it cannot return the money.

Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock raised the issue of the Appeal funds in State parliament last week and said she has been receiving conflicting information about the status of the funds.

"Dee has received information which claims the funds are being held in a trust but I have a letter from SESIAHS CEO Debora Picone which clearly states the money is not in a trust but in a special purpose account," Mrs Hancock said.

"So really we still have no idea where the money actually is."

Mrs Carrington has written to the SESIAHS on numerous occasions in the past six months asking that funds held on behalf of the Appeal be returned so it can be deposited in the Appeal's own bank account.

Initially the Appeal was established with the help of the SESIAHS but has since become an independent incorporated group.

The aim of the Appeal is to build and operate a cancer treatment facility that would cater to all the needs of cancer patients in the Milton Ulladulla area.

"We have authority to fundraise, our deductible gift recipient authority and now we want the money the community donated to this project returned to the committee," Mrs Carrington said.

"The SESIAHS signed off on the project with the Appeal taking all of the responsibility and risks associated with making the clinic a reality.

"I don't understand why the SESIAHS would put the money in a trust, if it is in a trust," Mrs Carrington said.

"It is very clear who is building the clinic, so why would they tie the money up in a trust when they know they are not administering the project."