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Funding commitment for University of Canberra tax clinic

9 May 2019: The University of Canberra welcomes the commitment of tax clinic funding should a Shorten Labor Government be elected later this month.

Andrew Leigh MP, Member for Fenner, made the funding commitment announcement this morning alongside Acting Executive Dean for the Faculty of Business, Government and Law, Dr Maree Sainsbury.

The commitment includes ongoing funding of $150,000 annually for a University of Canberra Tax Clinic to provide free tax assistance for disadvantaged people in Canberra and the surrounding region.

In announcing the commitment, Mr Leigh acknowledged how well similar tax clinics had worked in the United States in helping remove the worry of dealing with tax for small businesses, low income earners and some of the most vulnerable people in the community.

As for University of Canberra students, the opportunity to work with real clients would be invaluable.

“This clinic would allow students from accounting and law disciplines to be working with the professions, so practicing accountants, to be providing real-life advice to real clients,” said Dr Sainsbury.

On top of the benefits of a practical learning experience for students, Dr Sainsbury said the tax clinic would teach students about the significance of pro-bono work and contributing to the Canberra community.

“As the University of Canberra, an important part of our role is to serve Canberra and the region, and we think it’s really important to involve our students as part of that ... We want to be producing graduates that have pro-bono work as one of their core values.”