Page 6023 - Week 18 - Thursday, 12 December 1991

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MR MOORE: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I presume that Mr Connolly was referring in his answer to the same letter that I have a copy of to Dr John Tomlinson, director of ACTCOSS. You assured Dr Tomlinson at that time:

As an interim measure you can be assured that the trust will advise all tenants facing eviction that they can appeal the decision to evict.

Yet when I look at a copy of one of the 20 November letters from the Housing Trust I can see no advice to tenants facing eviction that they can appeal the decision to evict. Can you explain that matter?

MR CONNOLLY: Until I get the report as to how these letters were sent out in error and why they were wrong, no, I cannot. But, clearly, the policy is that people should be advised, and for some reason that letter says otherwise. Yes, it is in error. Again, we apologise. I will advise the trust to ensure that that does not happen again.

Youth Refuge

MR KAINE: I address a question to Mr Connolly. It is in connection with a house in Beirne Street in Monash. Let me say that I have no objection to the use to which it is proposed that that house be put. There has been a complaint from some of the residents there that they found out by accident what was planned for that house, and when they asked about consultation they were told that, because it was not required by law, no consultation would take place. Is that an accurate reflection of this consultative Government's opinion?

MR CONNOLLY: It is an accurate reflection of the process that has applied under successive governments for the provision of services such as women's shelters or youth refuges in suburban areas. There was a very hostile meeting organised by Monash residents last Thursday - which I was unable to attend because I was attending a community consultation meeting at Curtin - at which a number of extraordinary rabid comments were made about compulsory AIDS testing of young people who are going to use this facility, and there were allegations of impropriety in the process by which this house was provided to the Open Family Foundation. The ACT Ombudsman has investigated complaints by certain Monash residents and has given a totally clean bill of health to the process by which the house was selected and the process by which the house was allocated to the Open Family Foundation.

Alcohol and drug abuse amongst young people is a community problem. Alcohol abuse is a community problem which members opposite were whipping up some degree of political frenzy about some weeks ago. The provision of services by groups such as Open Family - I think members would all be

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