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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 3 Hansard (10 March) . . Page.. 972..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

plan that I have spoken about previously in the Assembly, a plan which has been embraced by the entire community sector-indeed, by almost all parts of Canberra-and which I released last month. The flagship is a direct result of our support for the principles endorsed in the social plan-valuing and investing in our people and the community.

The policy affirms the importance of the community sector and its place in the planning, policy development and management of funding agreements between government agencies and community organisations. The government wants to ensure that community services are well targeted, that they are linked with other services, where appropriate, and that they provide value for money.

Key elements of the policy that stand out for both government and the community sector include: the adoption of a whole-of-government approach to community sector funding and a commitment to the streamlining of the contractual process; three-year funding cycles which will boost the viability of the community sector through the security that longer-term funding arrangements can provide; multiyear funding agreements for performing services and the inbuilt capacity to accommodate new service providers who feel that they have a service to offer to the community; and joint professional development and training programs to enable ongoing quality control and, indeed, ongoing quality improvement for all services provided by the community sector through the agreements.

The policy will also allow the community to have confidence in the government's capacity for flexibility and adaptability in accommodating and responding to the changing needs of our community. Most importantly, the new policy approach will bring to an end what many regard as the disastrous adversarial nature of the purchaser/provider model for community services which was developed by the former government and which was universally condemned by the community sector.

Child protection

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Chief Minister and Attorney-General, Mr Stanhope. I refer to a letter, which the opposition has obtained under freedom of information legislation, to you from the Community Advocate, Ms Heather McGregor, dated 23 January 2004, outlining her efforts to ensure that she was advised of all reports concerning abuse of children in care. The Community Advocate states:

On 10 September 2002, I wrote to Ms Fran Hinton and Mr Tim Keady, providing them with an advance copy of the OCA inquiry submission to the Standing Committee on Community Services and Social Equity's inquiry into the rights, interests and wellbeing of children and young people, and advising them that we would also be appearing before the committee.

Chief Minister, did Mr Keady advise you of the Community Advocate's letter and the contents of her submission to the Standing Committee on Community Services and Social Equity on 10 October 2002?

MR STANHOPE: Not to my knowledge, and not to the knowledge of Mr Keady. I spoke to Mr Keady last Friday after Ms Burke's release was issued and I asked him about the letter and the advance copy of the submission that he had received from

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