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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3034..


MR WOOD (continuing):

going to be affected; we had better tell them straight away."That happened before the letters went out to everybody.

Some of those tenants-one at least-went straight to the Canberra Times. That is their right; I don't complain about that. Therefore, it was in the media yesterday, when the letters are going out today. So it was the timing of it. It should have been done differently.

I think in future we won't ring anybody; we'll go back to what we did last year and just put it all into letters so that they will go out, and a day or two later make a public statement. Yes, it would be better that they get the letter first. I apologise to them; there's no doubt about that.

MR STANHOPE

: I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper, Mr Speaker.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Children-foster carers

MS GALLAGHER: On Tuesday, Ms Tucker asked me a question relating to the number of children who are not currently able to be placed in a foster care family, where these children are currently accommodated, and how long they have been there. I can partially answer the question. More detail will come with the answer to Mrs Burke's question on notice. But for today, the latest data available points to a 21 per cent increase in the number of children admitted to care between 30 June 2002 and 30 June 2003. The numbers were 224 and 273, respectively.

I am advised by the placement panel that their data indicates that in August 2003 eight children were in short-term foster care and in need of medium to long-term family placement. In all instances, temporary arrangements provided by agencies are in place to accommodate those children while more satisfactory permanent foster care placements are arranged in conjunction with non-government agencies and Family Services. If you would like more in the form of a briefing in the meantime, I am happy to arrange that for you.

Adopt a Road program

MR WOOD: Yesterday, Mr Cornwell sought an update on public liability insurance negotiations regarding the Adopt a Road program. A group scheme for voluntary organisations has been set up by a consortium of insurers, that is, the Community Care Underwriting Agency. The Department of Urban Services and Treasury recently received a quote from that agency for public liability cover for the uninsured Adopt a Road groups. The quote is for a group scheme to cover 40 groups.

DUS is currently negotiating with those Adopt a Road groups that are still uninsured to ascertain that the proposed insurance cover is acceptable; so they are working through it. Additionally, I have been advised that litter is being collected by Urban Services contractors in accordance with their contracts.


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