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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 3 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 1069..


MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, if you cannot be sure, neither can I. I do not think you have a point of order. If you have specifics you want to raise, please do. But by saying that you are not sure-

Mrs Dunne: There are some elements that Mr Stanhope said that these things were in the appropriation bill-the one tabled this morning-and that has been referred to a committee. I do not think Mr Stanhope can refer to those things that are in the appropriation.

MR SPEAKER: I think that in an answer he is entitled to refer to matters that have been in the appropriation bill.

MR STANHOPE: The third appropriation and the one-year commitment ensures an immediate response to each of the social plan's five flagship commitments. It ensures that work on important initiatives such as the child and family centres can commence immediately. The Canberra plan has three components: the social plan, the economic White Paper and the spatial plan, which are ambitious in their scope and objectives.

The funding we are announcing today represents a down payment on the commitments we have made. As we have shown today, this is a government that does not shoot from the hip and does not throw money around without thinking; it is a government that plans and it acts on those plans-it is a government that delivers.

Child protection

MR CORNWELL: Down to earth, again, please: my question is to the Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Ms Gallagher. Yesterday this Assembly heard how a question on notice from the community services and social equity committee sent on 8 December sparked a rush of activity. To refresh your memory, Minister, the committee question related to section 162(2) reports provided to the Office of Community Advocate and asked:

Could the Attorney General please comment on the Government's approach to Chief Executive Officers that are reported to have failed to comply with their statutory obligations?

The fax that was sent to you on 11 December specifically referred to that question to the Attorney-General. You are nodding in agreement-thank you.

As I said, this question on notice seems to have prompted a rush of activity, namely: a meeting between the Director of Family Services and the Community Advocate on 10 December to discuss the issue and a commitment to provide outstanding reports from July 2002; secondly, the distribution of a director's instruction to comply with section 162 (2) on 11 December 2003 to family services staff; and, finally, the sending of a brief to you on 11 December advising that family services was in breach of the law. Was this sudden spurt of activity by your department due to the question from the CSSE committee going to the Attorney-General on 8 December?


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