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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 11 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 4658..


MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, are you aware that the parent who remained in Canberra found out about the removal of their child to another state via Facebook?

MS BURCH: I am not commenting on that, Mr Speaker.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, how does this treatment sit with your government's carers charter, which you tabled in the Assembly yesterday?

MS BURCH: The carers charter does set out a very clear policy position about the regard and respect that we offer carers, whether they are foster carers, kinship carers, carers caring for people with disability, aged family members or those with a mental health issue. As I have said, I do not know the detail of that. I think it is quite unfair and it just goes to show how you want to politicise it and get some grubby politics where you come in here with some words, read off a piece of paper, that provide no context to the details of the case involved.

Arts—funding

MS BRESNAN: My question is to the Minister for the Arts and concerns the provision of arts services to diverse and disadvantaged communities in Canberra. Minister, why have you proposed to discontinue funding to the ACT Community Arts Office after 2012, which would disband the specific arts advocacy positions for people from diverse and disadvantaged communities—that is, the Indigenous arts officer, the ArtsAbility officer and the multicultural arts officer?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Bresnan for her question. We in this place are aware of the Loxton review that did a broad, sweeping review of arts across the ACT. One of the recommendations in that was to regionalise the community arts sector, and the government has supported that. I met with the Community Arts Office a couple of weeks ago, with a view to, rather than being centralised on a target focus, putting that resource into the regions. They would cover very broadly while still having a very strong aspect of community arts focus in the ACT. They would cover all the aspects of inclusion for multicultural affairs, multicultural targets, those with a disability, those who are Indigenous, and also more broadly about youth, those with mental health issues and others. So this is just about a realignment and a reinvestment in community arts.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Bresnan.

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, are you satisfied that a generalist arts officer can work just as effectively with Indigenous communities, culturally and linguistically diverse communities and people with a disability as do specific arts officers who have special experience in these individual and unique communities?


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