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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3210 ..


This is from a party that, despite all their feigned distress, has not committed a single cent to support kinship carers—not in their election promises, not in an opportunity of the last budget reply and not in this budget reply. Not one single cent have those opposite through their crocodile tears thought the kinship carers were worthy of. Mrs Dunne also stands up with a long list of outrage. If she has genuine concern for children, then you need to bring it to me, take it to the department, raise it with someone, instead of standing there just being malicious and alarmist.

On children and young people, this government continues to strengthen supports for valuable families. We have ensured that the youth justice centre at Bimberi has operational capacity to accommodate the needs of young people who are placed at the centre by providing an additional $1.7 million annually. This funding is for accommodation, rehabilitation and support to the residents of Bimberi. We also support vulnerable children, who will be assisted through a $1.1 million initiative over four years.

Early intervention funding will provide two additional child and family workers who will work with vulnerable families. They will work from the third child and family centre which will be located in west Belconnen. It will have a focus on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and children. The funding recognises the importance of intervening early and supporting families. The budget also provides funding to facilitate the introduction of the national quality agenda reforms. These are progressive changes that will improve the quality of childcare in the ACT.

We will also provide $4 million to develop a childcare centre at Flynn. It has been well touted through this place this week that we have two well-regarded local providers moving in there. It is seems that Mrs Dunne continues to oppose this. I do not know what she has got against Gumnut or Alkira moving in, but her continued negative and alarmist scaremongering is not acceptable.

The other treat we had today was the incorrect statements she is spreading around the place about the change of use tax. As the Treasurer has also said, this has been in effect since 1971. This is not a new tax, Mrs Dunne, but, again, you just take pleasure out of alarmist scaremongering and commentary that does nothing to support the sector. Again, in your 11th hour election promise there was nothing in your costings for childcare and not a zip, not a brass razoo, for kinship carers.

On ageing, the government is committed to creating an age-friendly city to promote positive ageing. We continue to support the seniors grants and sponsorships programs, the retirement and lifestyle expo, and the Council for the Ageing for the seniors cards issued to over 42,000 Canberrans and also to manage Seniors Week.

Moving to my responsibilities as Minister for Women, this budget provides $1.26 million to increase support for women who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. The funding will assist the work of front-line crisis services, particularly the domestic violence crisis service and the Canberra rape crisis centre. We know that the opposition do not support programs to help women, and I can almost foresee that they are not going to support this. It is quite disappointing to see the opposition not supporting this, particularly the shadow minister for women.


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