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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 February 2010) . . Page.. 476 ..


MR SPEAKER: Members, before we continue with question time, when I ruled that laptops were allowed to be brought into the chamber, I made it quite clear that they should be on mute. I have heard a number of laptops this morning. I request members to use the mute function.

Mr Hargreaves: On that note, I apologise to members. But I am still waiting for some technical support to get it out because I am a geriatric.

MR SPEAKER: In which case, Mr Hargreaves, you should remove your laptop from the chamber until you can sort out your technical problems.

Mr Hargreaves: Point taken, Mr Speaker.

Questions without notice

Family and youth services

MS HUNTER: My question is to the Minister for Children and Young People. Minister, it is my understanding that the family services program and youth services program review discussion papers were sent to community service providers on Christmas Eve 2009 and that due to holidays and shutdowns some services did not receive their reports until well into the new year. Has the minister considered that the reform discussed in this paper involves serious policy and program change and that perhaps an extension beyond the closing date of 5 March is required to allow the community sector time to respond fully to these changes?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Hunter for her question. With reference to youth and family support services, many of these contracts come to end on 30 June and indeed the department is looking at how to better align these previously separate streams of family support services and youth support services, and the purchasing framework is looking at how do we better align this in recognising that families are not necessarily separate from youth. I understand that the department has spoken with services. There has been a paper. There has been opportunity for consultation and feedback, and to 3 March I think provides a number of months for contact. Indeed, the conversation began with services before that paper went out, so services were aware that we were looking at a redevelopment and a realignment of those services. I think 30 March is a reasonable time. But if you think the sector are coming to you and saying that they need a little bit of time, just let me know and I will take it from there.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Ms Hunter?

MS HUNTER: Minister, can you advise us how the review will take into account the role that government services such as health and education have within that broader system in the ACT?

MS BURCH: The discussion paper that was put out in December focused on the framework to be aligned, so we looked at the capacity of organisations to provide

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