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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (11 February) . . Page.. 201..


MS TUCKER: My supplementary question is: can the minister advise the Assembly whether he will conduct a review of this event authorisation in public, paying particular regard to the views of local residents? Will the minister tell us when that review will be held?

MR SHANHOPE: I will get Ms Tucker the details of that. I am more than happy to be open and consultative in relation to any review of the event. Ms Tucker also raised the issue of who was conducting the event. There were some issues around the availability of public liability insurance for the conduct of this year's Summernats. I do not know whether that goes to the issue Ms Tucker raised but I know there were some significant difficulties in ensuring that appropriate public liability insurance was availability for the event this year and that may be relevant to the question she asked. I will pursue that as well.

Ministerial responsibility

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Ms Gallagher. Ms Murray's report regarding section 162 reports to the Community Advocate states:

It is concerning that the Community Advocate has found, based on the information available to her, that 6 children with respect to the 38 reports assessed, are not safe.

A table is attached, of which members also will have a copy. The report continues:

This information needs to be followed up immediately, particularly as these children may have been in unsafe placements for a period of time.

Minister, on the other hand, you were assuring the community and this Assembly that there was no immediate risk to these children, which you claim was based in part on a conversation with the Community Advocate. Why are you now claiming that the Community Advocate told you that these children were not at any immediate risk when she has told Ms Murray that these children are not safe and may have been in unsafe placements for some time?

MS GALLAGHER: You are a bit short on questions, because Mrs Dunne just asked about exactly the same issue. I am happy to extend my answer because I was looking for a quote in the report that I think will assist people to understand the issue here. You have to get your mind around the fact that at present the issue is about failure to report adequately and failure to hold information adequately-alleged failure at the moment because the department has not had the right of input in this regard. It is not about any failure in relation to the care of children. Nobody has anything to say that any child has been placed in danger because of this situation. In fact, the Community Advocate says that it is her view Family Services is responding appropriately to current risk factors, that is, that Family Services is dealing with these cases in an appropriate manner. She went on to say-as I have just tabled this document, members can read it for themselves:

It has to be stressed that the above assessments are the opinion of the OCA, not Family Services, and are based solely on the sometimes limited information


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