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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (5 August) . . Page.. 3513..


that there could be problems in older schools, but it decided not to have a full audit done of the asbestos problem in our schools. Why has the government not done a full audit of all schools that were built before 1984 to detect the presence of asbestos and ensure its removal?

MS GALLAGHER: I am not sure whether everything that was said is correct, so I will take the question on notice and get back to Mr Stefaniak.

MR STEFANIAK: I ask a supplementary question. While the minister is doing that, will she also state why she has adopted an approach that both exposes our kids to risk and taxpayers to future claims for negligence, especially given that there was a $5 million underspend in capital works as at the end of March this year?

MS GALLAGHER: I will take that question on notice. I do not necessarily agree with what Mr Stefaniak said, but I will get back to him.

indigenous community-delivery of services

MS DUNDAS: Mr Speaker, my question is to the minister for indigenous affairs. Minister, in December 2001 you said in this place that the government would develop reports each quarter on the current state and effectiveness of services delivered to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the ACT. In May 2003, in this place, I asked you if these reports had been written or had occurred and you indicated that there would be an update on the work happening that was underpinning the development of some possible reports. No further information has been provided to this Assembly since that date. Will there be a report presented in this Assembly on the current state and effectiveness of services delivered to the ATSI community?

MR SPEAKER: I do not think there is a minister for indigenous affairs, but I think you might mean the Minister for Community Affairs. The Chief Minister deals with that.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Yes.

MS DUNDAS: I have a supplementary question. Could the minister please explain why we have not received a report each quarter since 12 December 2001, as promised? What is the timeframe for the delivery of a report into the current state of affairs of services for the ATSI community?

MR STANHOPE: The government has been very active in relation to issues around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to a degree that no other government has been. That will be affirmed by every indigenous representative in the ACT. Our record of achievement in relation to indigenous affairs is second to none. This is the only government, and the only party, in the ACT that has taken issues in relation to indigenous people seriously. This is the only government that has seriously addressed issues around indigenous disadvantage and dispossession with any vigour, with any determination and with any strategy. There is not a single indigenous representative in the ACT who would say otherwise. I am proud of the government's record in relation to that. The office of indigenous affairs has worked vigorously, and I will report before the end of the term.


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