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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 5 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1609..

The directorate is in the process of establishing a panel of independent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural advisers to assist Care and Protection and agency staff with decision-making and cultural planning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.

It is important that members of the Assembly understand and support the work that is underway to improve outcomes for these high-risk families and their children. I have outlined key aspects of the proposed policy and I encourage interested parties to examine the material available on the directorate's website.

Once the consultation period ends and we finalise our approach we will work on implementation. Some aspects that are changes in policy or approach that can be done with available resources will be progressed as soon as possible. Others may require additional resources and will be subject to future budget decisions. Regardless, though, every child deserves a good childhood and the best start in life possible.

I extend my very sincere thanks to all those who have worked so hard on behalf of our vulnerable children, including carers, staff of the Community Services Directorate and the non-government agencies. All of the territory's children and young people are precious and where they have suffered maltreatment I am committed to ensuring that we do our very best to secure their future. I present a copy of the following paper:

Out of Home Care Strategy: Proposed Policy Directions—Ministerial statement, 15 May 2014

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Federal government—budget

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Gentleman): Madam Speaker has received letters from Ms Berry, Dr Bourke, Mr Coe, myself, Mr Hanson, Mrs Jones, Ms Lawder, Mr Smyth and Mr Wall proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, the Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Dr Bourke be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The impact of the Federal Budget on ACT jobs, services, our community and business.

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (4.08): I welcome the opportunity today to speak on the impact of the federal budget on the ACT. The commonwealth budget will have huge repercussions and involve substantial changes for all of us in our everyday lives as well as our own budget in the ACT.

As we know from all the reports, our state and territory colleagues are shocked by the impact of this federal budget on their own jurisdictions as well as on the nation. No-one could describe Prime Minister Tony Abbott as trusty.

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