“The AHRC received an additional A$38 million (USD 24.08 million) of Federal Government funding in October 2022 over the next 4 years, including A$16 million (USD 10.14 million) for two new responsibilities, A$18 million (USD 11.41 million) for core appropriation, and a one-off increase of A$3.6 million (USD 2.28 million), to address a backlog in complaints. This is in addition to a A$16.050 million (USD 10.17million) equity injection from Government in 2022 to restore the Commission’s financial stability. 

While acknowledging the additional funding the Federal Government has provided to the AHRC to address its financial situation, the SCA notes that, to function effectively, an NHRI must be provided with an appropriate level of ongoing funding in order to guarantee its independence and its ability to freely determine its priorities and activities. 

The SCA recommends that the AHRC continue to advocate for an appropriate level of funding to carry out the full breadth of its mandate. Such appropriate level of funding shall ensure sufficient ongoing resources to: 

– enable statutory commissioners to fulfil their mandates; 

– ensure the timely handling of complaints and inquiries; 

– undertake its human rights education and awareness raising functions; 

– engage with communities nationally, including in regional and remote areas, and with marginalised groups and communities; and 

– ensure sufficient corporate support resources, including for updated ICT infrastructure, to support these functions and outreach. 

The SCA refers to Paris Principle B.2 and to its General Observation 1.10 on ‘Adequate funding of NHRIs’.”