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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 8 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 2397..


tested through the ICRC and been seen to be a reasonable cost for the delivery of that infrastructure. I completely reject the allegation that is implicit in Mr Hanson's questions that there are ongoing problems or that anyone is being asked to carry the can for anything.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Seselja.

MR SESELJA: Chief Minister, what risks does a so-called dumbing down of senior engineering positions bring to the integrity of construction and maintenance of water and sewerage infrastructure in the ACT?

MS GALLAGHER: Again, I see that the Liberal Party have done their due diligence and read the Canberra Times today. Have you decided that what you have read in the Canberra Times actually means there is a dumbing down, or is the allegation that the right people are not in the right jobs to manage ACTEW Water? APESMA has raised issues around qualifications for certain positions through a consultation period over an internal restructure. That is their job. It is ACTEW"s job to respond to that. They are doing that. I do not imagine the Assembly is going to come in and start micromanaging employment decisions of ACTEW Corporation. This is a matter for the board and senior managers of ACTEW to manage and to respond where concerns are raised by employee associations.

Visitors

MADAM SPEAKER: Before I proceed, I would like to draw members' attention to the presence in the gallery of members of the Macquarie and Jamison Probus Club who are present here today as part of their getting in touch with Canberra program. I welcome them to the Assembly.

Questions without notice

Schools—autism

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, autism is a condition which society still has much to learn about. However, in recent years, much progress has been made. While there are a number of measures which need to be taken to help people with autism and their families, there are a number of successful autism-specific schools and centres around the country.

The AEIOU Foundation reports that in its early intervention centres, 75 per cent of kids go on to mainstream schools and 90 per cent become effective communicators. Chief Minister, given this success, will the government commit to at least further examine this model and/or similar models to ensure that families with autism in the ACT get the same sorts of support and opportunities as those offered in states such as QLD and NSW?

MS GALLAGHER: Our commitment to people with a disability is firmly outlined in the budget—that covers children who have autism—through signing up and making the investments necessary for disability care. That is the single biggest thing that a government can do. I note that the Queensland government has done that as well, albeit they were coming off a lower base than most jurisdictions.


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