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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2684..


Mr Pratt: And the V8.

MR QUINLAN: I am still waiting for Mr Pratt to tell me how much he is going to spend on the V8. That is what I want to know.

Mr Cornwell, there are a whole raft of competing and emerging needs for cash. I will assure this Assembly that there will be, from this point on at least, responsible financial management.

Lone fathers redundancy payment

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services. Minister, I refer you to the yet to be resolved saga in relation to the crisis accommodation service for men and men with children, formerly run by the Lone Fathers Association in Belconnen.

Minister, no doubt you are aware that the Lone Fathers organisation did not spend all of the money allocated to it when it was running the service, and that a sum of approximately $20,000 remains unspent. I understand that there is some dispute in relation to who should keep this money. The Lone Fathers have sought to do this, but the department has apparently placed the matter before an auditor and put a freeze on those funds.

Without going into what should happen to that money, would you tell us whether you are you aware that the department has refused to allow the Lone Fathers to pay the former live-in caretaker the money owed to him as a result of the redundancy in the change of contract, and his other entitlements? I understand his entitlements amount to approximately $4,500. Is the minister further aware that the Australian Services Union has advised that this money should be payable to him, and wants it paid to him. Will you, Minister, direct your department to allow Mr Carter to be paid the money that is duly owed to him out of the abovementioned $20,000?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, the responsibility for this program is now the responsibility of the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, so I will ask Mr Wood to respond.

MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, I am aware of half of that story, that is the half in which there is $4,500 owing in redundancy payments. I am not aware that the $20,000 has been frozen. However, the advice that I have is that such commitment as there is is a responsibility of an organisation. There was a claim earlier that it should be paid by somebody else, by the government or something. The suggestion in reply is, as I recall, that the money owing to the person should be paid out of the remaining funds. If they are frozen, I can see there might be a problem, so I will check the second half of the story and see where we may take it.

MR STEFANIAK: Minister, I do thank you for that, at least, and I will liaise further with you. Will you endeavour to do that as a matter of urgency, as I understand Mr Carter has been seeking what is rightly his for some time now?


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