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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 28 June 2011) . . Page.. 2684 ..


The other thing that I raised previously was my concern around policies, procedures and practices—that if we did not have some usability in the system and some way to ensure that the policies, procedures and practices were quite clear, and that everybody knew what they were and how to respond in certain situations, they really were not worth the paper that they were written on. I am pleased to see that a project is underway to review all of these. Obviously we will need to see what the result of that is and, at the end of the day, see how that is implemented. It is no good just giving a very large volume of policies and procedures over to a worker and saying, “There you go; figure it out.” We do need a system in place where workers are very much kept up to date in some way that is accessible. That means that they can still perform their job and know that they are on safe ground, that they are following proper procedure and that, through their training, they are using the latest practices and using best practice.

The other one was this: Mrs Dunne has made a comment around the literacy tutors in the Murrumbidgee education training centre. I would say that it is great to see those tutors in place, but I would have the same sorts of questions as to why that was not identified previously. Over a number of annual report hearings and estimates hearings, we have heard about the profile of young people who are taken into custody, who are residing at Bimberi. Many of them do have learning difficulties and do have low IQs, as Mrs Dunne has commented on, and other issues. That means that, very much, education has not been at the forefront of their lives and they do need this support. I am pleased to see it, and again we no doubt will follow through to see how that is going into the future.

I very much look forward to hearing further updates on how this all settles down and how it is rolled out. Also, of course, we will be receiving the reports from the two reviews that are being conducted, the human rights audit and, specifically, the Children and Young People Commissioner’s investigation into Bimberi and the whole youth justice system. We will look forward to that and then look forward to hearing from the minister how all these things will fit together.

I do note that you have a change management and implementation plan. I am assuming that that will be the vehicle to put any other recommendations under, but I will very much look forward to an update in the future as to how the minister and the directorate will take on board any recommendations from that report as well—and ensure that they are implemented, and not just in the short term, but how this will be sustainable into the long term.

We need to provide an environment that will, hopefully, set these young people on a different path than the one their life has already taken. That means well-supported staff with great training and also a number of opportunities for those young people to be able to pursue. That is why I was also pleased to see the transition to work program from the construction industry training and education authority. Having spoken to Vince Ball on Friday night, I know that that has been very successful. I do hope that those sorts of programs continue, because we need to not only be giving that opportunity for some literacy and numeracy but also giving the opportunity for some real work skills so that those young people can walk out the door and be able to get a job, which is another part of choosing a new path in their life, and what we would hope would be a very positive path.


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