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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 11 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 4517..


MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, will you now do the right thing and resign—and, if not, why not?

MS BURCH: No.

Children and young people—supervised transport services

MS HUNTER: My question is to the Minister for Community Services. Minister, during the debate this morning you stated that NBSS has been reinstated to provide supervised contact and transport services in the territory. Minister, will you direct the Director-General to reinstate the previous client list that NBSS were providing service to?

MS BURCH: Without having the details of the client list and being privy to that information—it would not exactly be appropriate for a minister to get into allocating individual clients to a service provider; so I will stop short of that. But the advice I had this morning just after I came into the place is that they have been reinstated and they were being advised of that.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary?

MS HUNTER: Minister, following the publication of the Public Advocate's report, have any further NBSS invoices been paid by the directorate?

MS BURCH: My most recent advice is that there was an amount of $100,000. That was an amount without dispute. That was paid at the end of September. But I have directed the directorate to get on and to resolve that matter as a matter of urgency.

MS BRESNAN: Supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.

MS BRESNAN: Minister, given recent events and the concern that NBSS will not receive referrals from care and protection services in the future, what steps have you taken to ensure that NBSS are treated fairly by all care and protection staff?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Bresnan for her question. There were matters raised with the directorate that resulted in NBSS being suspended. Since that time and following my meeting with NBSS—and the director-general was with me at that meeting—the department have worked with NBSS. They have been working over the last number of weeks—it is certainly the advice I have that they have been working with them over the last number of weeks—to ensure that they can be reinstated, to ensure that they have a standard, all the requirements to be positioned to be able to go for a tender, because the director is looking to go out to a public tender for transport and supervision services. I think the fact that they have worked with them so closely over the last few weeks tells that they are prepared to treat them with regard and to support them as they return to this environment and work space.


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