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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 June 2010) . . Page.. 2906 ..

Obviously, Mr Speaker, in relation to the green star rating, I do not know whether Ms Le Couteur is aware that the Green Building Council do not permit governments to mandate their tool. They have a very strong view that governments are not allowed to mandate their rating tool in relation to development. But the government, through the green leasing principles that all states and territories have signed up to, is mandating certain levels of performance in relation to the leasing of office accommodation.

In addition to that, as members would be aware, the government continues to explore the issue of a government office building. If that was to proceed, the sustainability of that building and the energy and water performance of that building are key considerations and ones that I and my department are personally involved in.

Children—grandparent and kinship carers

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Children and Young People. Minister, in 2008 the Stanhope government promised, if it was re-elected, to provide $800,000 over four years for “a dedicated service run by a non-government organisation to provide information, advice and support to grandparents and kinship carers who are caring for children”. Minister, the funding for this promise was appropriated in the 2009-10 budget. Today is the last day of the 2009-10 financial year. How much of the first year’s allocation has been given to a dedicated service run by a non-government organisation? If not all of the 2009-10 funds have been allocated, will they be rolled over for use in future financial years or will they be treated as a saving?

MS BURCH: I thank the opposition for their continued interest in kinship carers. Kinship carers do a fantastic job in difficult circumstances. Indeed, this government committed $800,000 over four years. The tender for the advocacy of a support program has closed and is currently being assessed. I am looking forward to those dollars being contracted out and services being delivered.

I think I need to put on record that there has not been an absence of service and support provided to kinship carers over the last 12 months. We have created a carer liaison position that is providing support and guidance and responding to the needs of the kinship carers group. We have provided moneys to Marymead to support kinship and grandparent carers. We have also supported kinship carers in a range of things—through training and other bits and pieces.

As to the other part of the question, my intention to spend the appropriation on kinship carers is absolute.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary?

MR HANSON: Minister, how much of that $800,000 has been provided to kinship carers in this financial year?

MS BURCH: I will take the detail on notice; I do not have it about me. Kinship carers have been supported. They have been participating on the kinship and foster carer committee. They have a carer liaison position. They have been supported

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