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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 10 Hansard (21 September) . . Page.. 4165..


I cannot go without saying, as Ms Hunter has alluded to, that that information has already been in the public domain for some weeks, but I appreciate that it should have been redacted yesterday, regardless of the fact that Mrs Dunne put it into the public domain for the last number of weeks and that, yesterday in the debate, the oversight organisation and the organisation that managed the property were identified again through the Canberra Liberals. That is unfortunate. As Ms Hunter said, we do need to be a bit careful here. Mrs Dunne, as I am informed, also identified the property and resulted in it being named and photographed in the Canberra Times. I have asked for that—

Mrs Dunne: I think you had better check that.

MS BURCH: That is the advice I have got from the source, Mrs Dunne. So that property has been pulled. It is unfortunate, but that has happened. There were clearly some maintenance and some property issues, and I am not refuting that, even though there was some confusion about what happened and when, there were clearly not ideal circumstances. But there has been comment today about the aspects of that that were positive and therapeutic for the children. It is a lovely open space, and it is a shame that that property will no longer be provided. To keep it within the system for care and protection would be to have the potential that someone in a not positive frame of mind could seek to access their children and go to that property. That has been removed; it is not worth thinking what the potential negative outcomes of that could otherwise be.

I have tabled the letter. I said yesterday in the debate on Mrs Dunne's motion that it is about assurance of resources. I have made comment. There is a SOGC and an HP4 that have been put on this, and the directorate has committed to providing all documents and records. I understand that one of the workers is already in place within the directorate and that work has commenced.

I welcome the review. I called for the review. We have great workers. We have a system. Any system can be reviewed. When we are looking at such desperate circumstances where we have a child that needs protection and care and we have a stretched and pressured system, there is no alternative but to find a safe and secure place. If that has compromised the act, as it appears to have, we need to consider all of our internal systems so that the act is not compromised. If we need to review and consider alternative arrangements, let us have someone with the foresight of the Public Advocate to provide some independent commentary on that.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (12.17): I have circulated an amendment to Ms Hunter's motion. The first part of the amendment is now unnecessary because the minister has fixed up the redacted version of the report, but I move the second part of the amendment circulated in my name:

In paragraph (3), omit the words "submit a copy of all reports to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly", substitute "submit any and all reports directly to the Legislative Assembly while".

In speaking on Ms Hunter's amendment, let me say that it is welcome. It modifies slightly the language. I am not precious about the language.


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