Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 7 Hansard (3 July) . . Page.. 2704..
MS GALLAGHER (continuing):
We have a range of family support programs targeted through non-government agencies to address issues that have come to light through the Vardon report. We have increased funding to organisations such as UnitingCare, Kippax, who are doing a fantastic job out in the community with vulnerable families. That is what we have done to care and protection. It is uncomfortable for you to hear the fact that it has been completely reformed.
In light of that, they are dealing with thousands more reports than they have ever dealt with before—in excess of 10,000 reports of concern about children and young people in the territory. That is what this department is delivering and they are delivering it in the most difficult circumstances that any of us could imagine. None of you—in fact, I could not—could work in that area. None of us in this place could, because of how hard that job is. Those people turn up to work every day and do the most incredible job.
Your question not only attacks me; it attacks the professionalism, the dignity and the hard work of every single member of staff in that agency. And you know it, because you cannot ask a question like that without attacking the public servants that deliver these services on the ground. Shame on the lot of you!
Rhodium Asset Solutions Ltd
DR FOSKEY: Thank you, Mr Speaker. This question would have been directed to the Chief Minister, but in his absence it is to the other shareholder of Rhodium—the Deputy Chief Minister.
The ACT government has been trying to sell Rhodium for some time. I know that in December we passed a bill to extend the default commencement date of the Territory Owned Corporations (Amendment) Act by six months to 20 June. At the time the Chief Minister said there was a preferred buyer. Given that we are past 20 June and, indeed, 30 June, could the minister please inform the Assembly of progress towards the sale, when the government anticipates the sale will complete and if there are any governance issues as a result of the delayed sale.
MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Chief Minister and I have been written to in the last couple of weeks by the board of Rhodium updating us on the progress of the potential sale of Rhodium Asset Solutions. We have sought additional advice from Treasury on that. In fact, the Chief Minister and I are due to meet in the next few days to talk about the advice that is coming.
Suffice it to say the sale has not proceeded. The board has raised a number of issues with us which we need to consider prior to making any further announcements. That is about as helpful as I can be at the moment just because I have not received the formal advice I need in order to respond. But the sale has not gone ahead.
There was a preferred buyer and the board, in their letters to us, have raised some concerns. They certainly raised some concerns around the sale, board appointments—because we have extended those—and some of the issues around retaining staff due to