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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 19..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

determined the appropriate sanction or response to those breaches. In other words, she established that she had done the wrong thing, that there had been a serious breach and that her withdrawal from the committee would be an acceptable response. It is not. That is something that has to be determined by this Assembly. The appropriate process has to be followed. The Select Committee on Privileges must be asked to consider this issue.

I reiterate what I said earlier. It is not absolutely necessary for that committee to consider what sanctions should be applied. However, it can do so if it wants to. It should determine whether, in accordance with House of Representatives Practice and in accordance with standing orders, there has been a contempt of this Assembly. I ask that committee to consider two issues: first, the viability of the inquiry, which I believe has been addressed, and, second, the integrity of this Assembly, which I think has been breached. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

Question put:

That Mr Hargreaves's motion be agreed to.

The Assembly divided-

Ayes 11

Noes 6


Mr Berry

Ms MacDonald

Mrs Burke

Mr Corbell

Mr Quinlan

Mr Cornwell

Mrs Cross

Mr Stanhope

Mrs Dunne

Ms Dundas

Ms Tucker

Mr Pratt

Ms Gallagher

Mr Wood

Mr Smyth

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Stefaniak

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Child protection

Ministerial statement

MS GALLAGHER (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations): I ask for leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement concerning child protection in the ACT.

Leave granted.

MS GALLAGHER: The care and protection of children in our community is a priority for this government. When it becomes impossible for the immediate family to support and care for children for various reasons, it becomes the role of the state to provide the care and protection that the entire community expects as a right for all children, regardless of who has parental responsibility.

All Assembly members are aware that these children-the most vulnerable in our community-are deserving of extra care and attention. I think we all believe that the state is in some way an inadequate replacement for loving and caring families. It is increasingly apparent that bureaucratic procedure does not, on occasion, provide the level of support or representation that young people need when in state care. It is clear

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