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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 11 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 4514..

24 cases, the same questions arose. I refer members to pages 28 and 29 of the report where the current status of a number of children is as unknown. When I asked the Public Advocate what that meant yesterday, she and her officials said, "When reading the files, we could not tell from the files where these children are."This is seven years down the track after Vardon asked the question: can the care and protection system reliably tell us where our children are? And the answer was no. This week, the Public Advocate is saying the same thing.

This week Minister Burch, one of the succession of ministers after Minister Gallagher who has presided over the care and protection system, has not wanted to know what was going on in her department. When she did know what was going on in her department, what did she do? She said, "I'm seeking assurances."She did not say, "Stop it, it's illegal."She sought assurances to see that the placements met our standards. They did not meet our standards, and she did not do anything about it, which is why this place should say that we no longer have confidence in her.

This minister is not fit to look after our children. The Greens know it, but they cannot bring themselves to say it. They know that she is not fit to look after our children, and the message will come out long and clear today that the majority of members in this place say that this minister has done the wrong thing. We say she is not fit to continue in her job. The Greens have to equivocate because they cannot bring themselves to make the hard decisions that are necessary to look after children in vulnerable circumstances.

Ms Hunter should also be condemned. She likes to talk about her background of looking after vulnerable children in the community. But today, by not removing an incompetent minister, she has failed those children just as surely as Joy Burch has failed them.

Ms Hunter's amendments agreed to.

Question put:

That Mrs Dunne's motion, as amended, be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 9: Ms Bresnan Mr Coe Mr Doszpot Mrs Dunne Ms Hunter Ms Le Couteur Mr Rattenbury Mr Seselja Mr Smyth

Noes 6: Dr Bourke Ms Burch Mr Corbell Ms Gallagher Mr Hargreaves Ms Porter

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

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