Terror-linked charity on health payroll
QUEENSLAND'S 87,000 health employees can have money from their salaries automatically deducted and donated to a Labor-aligned charity with terror links.
The State Labor Government has given preferred-donation status to Union Aid Abroad, which has direct links to the Palestinian organisation MA'AN Development Centre that employed terrorist leader Ahmed Abdulla Al Adine.
The MA'AN Development Centre is employing as a field and media co-ordinator, Hamza Zbiedat, who is a supporter and affiliate of terrorist organisation, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The PFLP is on the official terror list of the US, the European Union and Canada, as a result of its history of hijacking planes, assassinations and suicide bombings, while Australia has the group on its "Consolidated" list of organisations subject to financial sanctions as a result of terror and security threats.
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said yesterday: "It makes me feel sick to think donations by Queensland public servants could be linked to a terrorist organisation'.
"There's no way (Premier) Annastacia Palaszczuk can guarantee that funding deducted from the salaries of public servants wasn't being funnelled to a known terrorist group.
"Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to cut all ties with this questionable organisation.''
Groups that have donated money to Union Aid Abroad include the Australian Workers' Union, Finance Sector Union, Health Services Union of Australia, Media Entertainment and Art Alliance, NSW Police Association, Rail, Tram and Bus Union and the Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union.
On the Queensland Health website, employees are told of the charity organisations they can contribute through via salary sacrifice.
Alongside Union Aid Abroad are the Leukaemia Foundation, The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation, the Townsville Hospital Foundation, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation, Nurse of the Year, the Queensland Cancer Fund and the Paraplegic Benefit Fund.
The MA'AN Development Centre is linked to a Palestinian organisation that has current and former employees with links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is recognised as a terror organisation.
Earlier this year, the Federal Government suspended taxpayer funding to the Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA set up by unions and run in the past by federal Labor MPs, including Ged Kearney. It has received $21 million of public funds.
An audit of APHEDA's Australian aid-funded program in the Palestinian Territories was ordered by former foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop and will be completed by the end of the year.
Hamza Zbiedat is a supporter and affiliate of terrorist organisation the PFLP and is employed by the MA'AN Development Centre.
Zbiedat, who was arrested by Palestinian Authority security forces on October 14 last year, is the second PFLP affiliate employed the MA'AN Development Centre.
In June, it was revealed the same organisation had employed since 2012 a leader of the PFLP in Gaza, Ahmad Abdullah Al Adine, 30, as its project co-ordinator and field monitor. Ahmed Abdulla Al Adine was shot by an Israeli sniper on May 14. He was killed during the protests at the border of Gaza and Israel in May, and hailed as a martyr at his funeral, which was attended by at least a dozen armed PFLP terrorists wearing balaclavas.
The government requires non-government organisations such as Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA to ensure their partners, such as the MA'AN Development Centre, do not provide direct or indirect support or resources to individuals associated with terrorism.
A spokesman from Queensland Health said its workers were able to choose to support a registered charity, should they so wish.
"In many cases those charitable donations are facilitated through payroll," the spokesman said.
"This organisation is referenced along with others so people can understand their payslips.
"The Federal Government is responsible for the registration of charities, not Queensland Health."