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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 8 Hansard (11 August) . .

Page.. 2817..

I want to acknowledge the work that they have done in what can be a difficult environment. I encourage all in the chamber to reflect on the facts of the matter and the realities of running a jail system when making comments about how it is operating and what the circumstances are.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Legal Aid Commission (ACT)—Schedule 1, Part 1.15

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.52): I will be brief. The Legal Aid Commission does valid work in the ACT particularly supporting those who are socially or economically disadvantaged to have access to important legal support. We commend them for what they do. I note that they are always under pressure to meet the demand. I know that their services are often increasing, particularly with the focus on family and domestic violence. That has had a commensurate flowthrough to front-line services, including the Legal Aid Commission. It is an area that we support, and I commend the hardworking staff for the work that they do.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Public Trustee and Guardian—Schedule 1, Part 1.16

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.53): This has been an area of quite significant public debate with the changes that were made to the human rights framework and concerns that were raised by guardians about amalgamation of these structures. There has also been the concerning issue with regard to the fraud. This has been well litigated through the estimates process as well as in the public domain.

I am hopeful that those issues are now behind the Public Trustee but I note that there remain concerns about the new structures. There were a lot of concerns raised by those who engage with the Human Rights Commission and with the Public Trustee and guardians that the new structure has not got it right. Certainly, I indicate that if we form government, this is an area that we will look at to make sure that we have the best structures for those organisations so they are able to do their jobs, which are quite separate. Their tasks are quite different and it is important that that separation between the organisations is maintained.

That is for another day. In the interim, I know there are a lot of hardworking staff there who have gone through these changes. I indicate the opposition's support for the work that they do.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

It being almost 6 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the resumption of the debate was made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 5.56 to 7.30 pm.

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