Page 3054 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 October 2022
interview friend is to provide a degree of support, particularly cultural support, in what is a really stressful situation for them.
MRS KIKKERT: Attorney, are you confident that all Indigenous interview subjects had adequate access to a suitable interview friend between 2019 and 2022, even though the Ombudsman found that the ACT government “does not keep statistics regarding the use of interview friends”?
MR RATTENBURY: As I indicated in my previous answer, my view is that it is worth bringing this program back because I think there has been a gap. Whilst I was not involved in the closing of the program previously, my view is that this is a worthwhile investment on behalf of the ACT government to support our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, who are overrepresented in the justice system.
MR CAIN: Attorney, why does the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice Services and Programs section of the JACS website twice state that the Aboriginal Legal Service currently provides an interview friend service, when in fact the scheme was discontinued in 2019 after the government cut off funding for it? I can show you on my laptop now where it is referenced.
MR RATTENBURY: As tempted as I am to wander across the chamber and look over Mr Cain’s shoulder—
Mr Cain: It is very friendly over this side.
MR RATTENBURY: Perhaps, after question time we can go into the anteroom and have a look together. I am unsure of why that is the case, but I will take Mr Cain’s question as a prompt, and I will check that situation.
Planning—Gungahlin town centre
MR BRADDOCK: My question is for the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Minister, can you please provide an update on the precinct design for the Gungahlin town centre east area?
MS BERRY: I thank Mr Braddock for the question. I know members for Yerrabi will be interested in the consultations that have been occurring so far to complete the Gungahlin town centre. Those consultations have been going on for some years now, and of course Gungahlin has grown significantly over the past decade. Currently the eastern district precinct is largely undeveloped. It is the equivalent size of Dickson group centre. This will be released by the Suburban Land Agency over the coming years. However, there are still a number of ways that the community in Gungahlin can be engaged in the consultation process around this work. This includes conversations with the community around a design process as well as the establishment of the Gungahlin community panel and extensive community engagement activities. There are engagement opportunities this weekend at the Celebrate Gungahlin Festival on Saturday; there is a drop-in session for that. There is also a drop-in session at Yerrabi Pond for Gungahlin residents to be able to participate in those conversations as well, around Gungahlin. I think it is important that the Gungahlin community gets to have a say on the kinds of things that they want to bring to their community. It is a growing