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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 12 Hansard (25 October) . . Page.. 4886..


MR SPEAKER: Thank you, members. Order! Minister Burch, we do not need a running commentary. If you can just focus on the facts of the matter.

MS BURCH: The facts of the matter are that they say to me they are saddened, appalled, disappointed and extremely concerned by the negative commentary coming out of here. Those are the facts of the matter, Mr Speaker.

MRS DUNNE: Supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, what action would you take to keep this matter alive, to ensure administrative improvements and to ensure that the kinds of policy and procedural mistakes uncovered by the community advocate's report are not repeated?

MS BURCH: I have begun conversation with the directorate around some of the changes that need to be implemented as a matter of urgency. They will form part of the government's response, so I will be quite happy to share it here. What we are doing is looking at how we increase the oversight and compliance arrangements and the leadership and the directorship of the supervision and support of staff within CPS. That is something that I am talking through with the directorate, and those changes will be implemented.

Another thing I am doing is giving clear instructions that practical policies and procedures, ones that direct and guide practice, need to be up to date and need to be available for all workers.

Another thing I am doing is talking with the kinship and foster carers and keeping them involved about the changes that I want to implement to make sure that we as a service are an exemplary service, one that should be the hallmark of best practice. I am disappointed that we have not done that, but that is what we are striving to do. But any human services find points in their practice where there are areas for improvement. This is what we have found now and this is what we will get on to improve.

Children and young people—care and protection

MR COE: My question is to the Minister for Community Services. Minister, recommendation 5 of the report into care and protection services calls for an independent mediator to be engaged to mediate between NBSS and the government. Minister, has this mediation occurred and, if so, what was the outcome of the mediation?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Coe for his question. I think last week I notified the Assembly that NBSS has been reinstated as a transport provider. So I would say that would be the outcome of those interactions.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Coe.


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