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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 September 1995) . . Page.. 1590 ..


MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Training and Minister for Children’s and Youth Services) (4.28), in reply: I thank members for their comments. I want to deal with a couple of the points Mr Osborne raised. The idea of putting all the eggs in one basket, as he described it, is to enhance services. It is not a question of more bureaucrats; it is really a question of providing a better service where it is needed. One point he raised was that Family Services is still in Housing. In fact, Mr Osborne, as from 1 July this year the Family Services Branch has been part of the bureau. That involves child care and protection, adoption and foster care, juvenile justice and also community grants. What it means is that the full range of services for youth, children and families are in the bureau.

I think we have seen a number of improvements so far. Taking possibly one of the worst areas - the provision of services to youth at the worst end of the scale, in the Quamby Remand Centre - the rationalisation of those services under one department has enabled us to improve the delivery of training programs to the detainees in Quamby. We are seeing some good programs go in there now and some significant attempts at rehabilitation of the detainees. I expect to see a lot of benefit from the various programs that have gone in there over the last couple of months. I do not think that would have been so easy to do had we not had youth and family services in the one area. This obviously needs ongoing monitoring. It is something that this Government is keen to see work, and the current signs are very positive that it has been a good move. Certainly, I will be closely monitoring it, as will my colleagues in government, Mr Osborne; you can rest assured of that.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

EMPOWERMENT OF ABORIGINAL PEOPLES ANDTORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS

Implementation Report 1993-94

Debate resumed from 30 May 1995, on motion by Mrs Carnell:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition) (4.30): Mr Speaker, it is a great pleasure for me to be speaking on one of the most important social justice issues of our time, namely, the empowerment of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders in our community. It is my view that this issue ought to remain as apolitical as possible. In government I sought from other parties a commitment to this approach, and I commit my own party to such an approach from the Opposition benches. There are, however, a number of points I wish to make on Mrs Carnell's statement, which I have studied in considerable detail.

It is with disappointment that I place on the record what I regard as a lack of real progress on the implementation of the report on Aboriginal deaths in custody. When Mrs Carnell had delivered her statement I naturally enough went back to my own last statement, which I made on 16 June 1994, that is, about a year before the current


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