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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 2 Hansard (25 February) . . Page.. 769..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

The elected body rightly observes that this government, our agencies and this community can do better by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans, and I am sure we all know that we can. We can do better in the area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander juvenile detention. At any one time, about half of all the children in detention in the ACT are Indigenous, off a population base of two per cent.

We can do better in addressing the homelessness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We can do better in the recruitment, retention and development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders into the ACT public service. We have already instituted a highly successful traineeship program, now well into its second year, but we do need to do more, not just at entry level but at every point of the career pathway.

And there is no dispute that we can do better in the way we collect and manage data relating to those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who use and depend upon the services of the ACT government. This goes for dedicated Indigenous services, but also for mainstream provision of services, where we need to be able to better identify the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cohort.

The report highlights six areas for particular improvement. Firstly, it calls for improved collection and management of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data. Secondly, it recommends a whole-of-government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recruitment, retention and development strategy. Thirdly, it calls for better dissemination of information about and better promotion of ACT government services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the ACT. Fourthly, it calls for improved support for school-age students during the transition to high school and beyond, to maintain literacy and numeracy achievements. Fifthly, it recommends increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander liaison officers in Canberra's hospitals. Sixthly, it recommends recurrent funding for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support worker at the women's legal service.

As I said, the government takes this report very seriously. I intend to table the government's response to this report in three months. I acknowledge the immense amount of work by individual members of the elected body that has gone into the production of this important document.

Papers

Mr Stanhope presented the following papers:

Ministerial Travel Report—1 January to 31 December 2009.

Cultural Facilities Corporation Act, pursuant to subsection 15(2)—Cultural Facilities Corporation—Quarterly report 2009-2010—First quarter (1 July to 30 September 2009).

Mr Corbell presented the following papers:

Subordinate legislation (including explanatory statements unless otherwise

stated)


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