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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 11 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 4518..


MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: To the minister, is it true that there are in fact over 600 children in the care of the territory parent and what we are seeing in fact at the moment is a small number of those kids being subject to the Public Advocate, notwithstanding the seriousness of the nature—

Mrs Dunne: Relevance, Mr Speaker. I seek your guidance. The original question was about the reinstatement of NBSS and the payments to NBSS. Mr Hargreaves's question does not go to either of those things.

MR SPEAKER: On the point of order, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: On the point of order, I was seeking to know roughly how many children we are talking about with respect to NBSS. I wanted to see that relativity of the whole picture. The subject, in fact, is about children in care, Mr Speaker, and I think you should allow some latitude in that.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, whilst I appreciate the spirit of what you are saying, I think Ms Hunter's question was quite specific and the line of questioning has remained quite specific. So I am going to rule the question out of order.

Children and young people—care and protection

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Community Services. Minister, the Vardon report of 2004, The territory as parent, stated in its summary pages:

Child protection in Australia is regulated by statute. Compliance with the statutory framework—the legislation and policies—is of the utmost importance if government is to keep vulnerable children and young people safe from neglect and harm.

That report revealed that the then department had not complied with the law. Seven years after the Vardon report, the Public Advocate's report of last Friday identified instances in which the directorate had failed to comply with the law. Minister, why has there been no improvement in your directorate's ability or willingness to comply with the law since 2004?

Mr Hargreaves: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, again I seek your guidance. I seem to have heard these same questions put rhetorically perhaps in the debate earlier today, and I wonder whether or not you can—

Mr Seselja: There is no point of order.

Mr Hargreaves: If you want his job, it's yours.

MR SPEAKER: Order! I am hearing Mr Hargreaves.


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