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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 3 Hansard (30 March) . . Page.. 1050..


As I say, I understand Ms Bresnan's commitment to this particular issue and to these constituents and I commend her for that. But I do not think that the motion today should be given any support in an environment where the government has already announced a response on the basis of rigorous review and investigation and detailed consultation. The Assembly today is seeking to suggest that the government should not even commence the response that it has announced, a response based on over a year of consultation and over a year of assessment by experienced consultants in the particular area.

I find it, I must say, rather strange to suggest that despite the consultation, despite the review, despite the expert evidence, despite the detailed consideration, despite all of our experience and the evidence of our attempts over the last 10 years, we should not even try to implement the fruits of all of that work. I commend Ms Bresnan for her interest in the issue. We do not believe at this stage that there is any sense in simply rejecting the report that was received, resiling from an announced government response or approach and essentially starting again because Ms Bresnan thinks it is a better idea, even though her idea is not based on any evidence and she cannot produce any evidence.

In fact, she is calling on us to do another review, a cost-benefit—another investigation. After impliedly criticising government for investigating or over-investigating this issue for the last 10 years, today she moves a motion which requires a further investigation to see whether or not there is a better way than the way that we have announced as the way forward—a way forward which we have indicated we will thoroughly review in 18 months. Subject to that, were it not successful, we have indicated, and would have always been prepared to indicate, that we will consider then again all options including that favoured by Ms Bresnan.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.31 to 2 pm.

Questions without notice

Bimberi Youth Justice Centre—inquiry

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Children and Young People. Minister, you and your colleagues have claimed vehemently that all staff, whether past or present, as well as the general community, are free to provide frank and fearless contributions to the Bimberi inquiry, and yet people are telling the opposition, and have stated publicly in the media, that they are fearful of the recriminations that might be visited upon them if they do contribute. Indeed, one person on ABC radio yesterday stated, "My manager was told he wasn't allowed to report to the review."Minister, how could a positive message expressed as vehemently as you claim translate into a message of fear and cover-up at the front line?

MS BURCH: I thank the opposition for their continued interest in Bimberi today. Our messages have been clear and you were right to repeat them for me; thank you,


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