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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 4 Hansard (5 April) . . Page.. 1339..


MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what training is provided to staff and contract trainers at the Murrumbidgee Education and Training Centre in relation to mandatory reporting requirements?

MR BARR: There is an induction for staff members as part of their introduction into the education department, and as teachers within any school setting. Then there are further processes, as I understand it, in relation to the specific circumstances of working within the Murrumbidgee education centre.

Bimberi Youth Justice Centre—inquiry

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Children and Young People. Minister, last week during question time you were asked about a text message sent to your staff about allegations of documented evidence of collusion and cover-up in your department in relation to the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre and the Human Rights Commission inquiry. You only became aware of this text message during question time. I can add today, minister, that at 2.50 pm on 16 March, which was two days prior to the text message talked about in last week's question time, the same member of your staff sent a text message which said: "If any concerns are put to me or the minister in any format of course we will act."Minister, what investigations have you undertaken in your office since question time last Thursday and what was the outcome of those investigations, including as to why your staff member failed to advise you of the text message about collusion and cover-up and why your staff member failed to respond to that text message?

MS BURCH: I thank Mrs Dunne for her question. As I said last week, my office gets a range of correspondence, just as every member here would get a number of correspondence. If my staff choose to reply to that and seek further information so that we can indeed act on that, I do not think that is remarkable or not appropriate. As far as I am aware, there were responses to—if it is the person and we are sharing the same individual—

Mr Smyth: So you've had more allegations of corruption?

MS BURCH: No, I am just making sure that we are on the right track, Mr Smyth.

Mr Smyth interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Smyth!

MS BURCH: That individual was offered to meet with the chief executive of the department. He was also encouraged to put it in writing. What I have had a discussion with my staff about is text messaging, follow-up and appropriate responses to texts, as opposed to the more formal structures that we more regularly get.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mrs Dunne?


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