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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 12 Hansard (25 October) . . Page.. 4884..


MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.

MS HUNTER: Minister, apart from the women's grants what funding has been put in to implement the women's plan?

MS BURCH: The women's plan is a whole-of-government approach to services and support. It is broader than the women's grants. Mind you, the women's grants play a significant role in supporting organisations to implement the women's plan. When I bring back the women's plan progress report, you will see the input from all organisations; whether it is in planning, whether it is in social design or whether it is through TAMS, it is across all directorates.

Children and young people—care and protection

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for Community Services. Minister, you have said in this place, and so has the Chief Minister, that the government will be responding to the recent report of the Public Advocate. Minister, when will the government make its response and will that response be released publicly and in full? If not, why not?

MS BURCH: I think I have indicated in response to an earlier question that I am hoping to have a draft response to me by early next week, and I think that is a very quick turnaround. I have made it very clear to the directorate that this matter needs to be worked through as a matter of urgency because there were some concerning findings in the Public Advocate's report and we need to move through that. I also made that commitment when I met with the kinship and foster carers yesterday.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, apart from the advice you are seeking from the Government Solicitor, what other advice are you seeking, and from whom, that will inform the government's response?

MS BURCH: The directorate is working through organisations that have an interface with some of the circumstances that were outlined in the report. So that certainly will inform the government's decision. The directorate has raised some matters of accuracy within the report. It is a serious report. It was a concerning read of the report. I think that I, and everyone in this place, would accept that. So this is something that needs to be taken quite seriously, Mr Doszpot. A response needs to be considered and it needs to be in full, and that is what we will do.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Thanks very much, Mr Speaker. Minister, what effect have the constant negative questions and carping from those opposite had on the morale of those people working in child protection?

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, Mr Hargreaves asked that question last week in almost exactly those terms.


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