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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 7 December 2010) . . Page.. 5827 ..

MS BRESNAN: Minister, can you confirm that the current funding percentages have been maintained to meet the needs of young people aged 12 to 25 years in the ACT?

MS BURCH: I will take that on notice and come back with a firm figure, but I would assume so. But to be absolutely sure, I will get back to you.

MS LE COUTEUR: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.

MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, why does your new service delivery framework neglect to provide services to the 18 to 25-year olds when decades of research and practice have informed us that young people should be defined as 12 to 25-year olds? And on what evidence do you base this redirection of resources away from the 12 to 25-year age group?

MS BURCH: Our young people’s plan, indeed, covers up to the age of 25, but this funding stream is not the only way that we, the government, support and respond to the needs of those beyond 18 and up to the age of 25.

If I can just go back to Ms Bresnan’s question, there is no intention of a reduction in funding allowance through the new framework. It is more of a realignment of the resource. But I can come back to you, for sure.

Bimberi Youth Justice Centre—safety

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Children and Young People. Minister, on 19 November the responsible shadow for family and community services, me, and the shadow for youth, Mr Coe, wrote to you about Bimberi youth detention centre. In that letter, we stated that there were “concerns for the ongoing safety of residents and staff”. We also urged you “to take all necessary steps to ensure their safety”. In response to that letter, you attended a meeting with Bimberi youth detention staff, teachers, CPSU delegates and others. Minister, at any time during those meetings did you indicate to those present that you were there only, apparently—I quote from information provided by staff—to cover your backside?

MS BURCH: I did indeed go and meet with a number of staff out at Bimberi and I entered into conversations that were, at their request, confidential conversations. I for one will not breach anyone’s confidence. I went out there—

Members interjecting—

MS BURCH: It is worth while focusing on the fact that I did go out. I did go out and speak to the young residents there. I went out to speak to the teachers there. I went out to speak to the youth workers there. They raised a number of concerns with me. Some of them I have already commenced action on. Also, we have started today—I have announced today—a review of Bimberi. Work has already commenced. It has been work that I have had under discussion with the department for a number of weeks. We have finalised personnel into that. So I was able to announce that today.

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