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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 2 Hansard (3 March) . . Page.. 657..

MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

are located in Charnwood, Kaleen, Civic, Curtin, Greenway and Condor. That additional allocation will provide a further 77 childcare places in our community. The expansion process should be completed by August 2004. Our commitment to children, which is demonstrated by the provision of these additional places and services in Gungahlin, will also be seen through the development of the first ever ACT Children's Plan, which is due to be released soon. Children are important members of the ACT community. The children's plan will articulate our commitment to them and their families.

MS MacDONALD: I ask a supplementary question. The minister, in her response, referred to the children's plan. What is the status of the development of that plan?

MS GALLAGHER: The children's plan is an extremely important document. I was pleased to be able to take over this project after all the work that had been done by Mr Corbell-

Mrs Dunne: Point of order: this supplementary question, which is about the children's plan, does not relate to the original question that was asked about the Gungahlin children's centre. Is the supplementary question in order?

Government members interjecting-

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Dunne is attempting to state her point of order.

Mrs Dunne: My point of order is whether or not the supplementary question is in order as the original question that was asked was about the Gungahlin children's centre, and not about the children's plan. The supplementary question has to relate substantially to the principal question.

MR SPEAKER: It has just been pointed out to me that a supplementary question has to be relevant to the original question, or it must arise as a result of an answer that has been given.

MS GALLAGHER: If members had been listening to my answer they would have realised that I referred to that issue.

MR SPEAKER: I will allow the question.

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Corbell commenced the children's plan, an extremely important document, when he was Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services. He recognised that while a youth framework had been put in place for young people aged 12 and older, no government plan or strategy had been dedicated to children from birth to the age of 12. There was community consultation from August to October last year. That consultation, which was broad, involved both adults and children.

The aim of the consultation process was to ensure that the development of the ACT Children's Plan reflected the views of and issues concerning the whole community. Approximately 700 adults were involved in those consultations through various processes that were open to them. We have received more than 100 written submissions and over 2,500 children responded through letters, the website and focus groups.

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