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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 40..


MS GALLAGHER: Yes, I did on a number of occasions. In fact, I had frequent briefings. I meet with the department twice a week. More often than not, the issue of family services was raised at those meetings, not only with regard to the inquiry that the standing committee was proceeding with, but concerning issues such as the dramatic increases in the number of reports being made and how those reports were being handled, adequate resourcing for Family Services-which led to a budget bid that was approved in the budget-and issues surrounding the coronial inquiry into the death of the young girl in the territory.

I had a number of briefings. I had several briefings on the Refocus project that was under way and which the Community Advocate had commented that she was pleased about. I imagine that there are other matters-individual cases-on which, when they were brought to the attention of my office, I received briefings as well.

This is an area on which I have reflected at length over the past six weeks or so. I did not at any stage ask them if they were meeting all their statutory requirements under the act, nor did they provide me with any advice or reasons that would lead me to believe that they were not. That is something that will not occur again. In relation to the information that I was given, I was briefed on a whole range of issues but I was not briefed specifically about that issue.

MR STEFANIAK: When did you first become aware of the Community Advocate's reporting on the program?

MS GALLAGHER: Sorry, reporting on the what?

Mr Stefaniak: On Refocus.

MS GALLAGHER: I would have to check my records, Mr Stefaniak, but I think it was probably around the time of the coronial inquiry, when she had provided information to Family Services about its Refocus work and Family Services had appeared at the coronial inquiry. I am just speaking off the top of my head and I will check my records and let you know.

Water-Canberra supply

MR HARGREAVES: My question is directed to the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister will be aware of yesterday's announcement that the Liberals, if elected to government, will build a new dam in the Naas Valley. In making this announcement, did the opposition leader, as reported in the Canberra Times, "upstage the government"? What action is the government taking to secure Canberra's future water supply?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you very much for your question, Mr Hargreaves. As you say, it is a particularly important question at this time of our development and progress. Yes, I was a touch surprised to read in the Canberra Times that I had been upstaged by the Leader of the Opposition. I must say that I do not feel a bit upstaged-not in any sense of the word.


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