Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 June 2011) . . Page.. 2825 ..
employees. These are employees of community-owned organisations which the ACT government provides considerable support for.
We will continue to provide considerable support to them but, as I have said very clearly, we also believe that there is some obligation on the commonwealth government to look at opportunities to provide funding not just for recurrent services, which is leading to growth in the number of personnel, but, as part of those grants, if they are going to provide funding for more staffing, they should also provide funding for the space to accommodate those staff. That is something that we will work constructively with community legal centres on when they make their applications to the commonwealth and in the advocacy that we put and I put directly to the commonwealth.
MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Doszpot?
MR DOSZPOT: Minister, when was the last time you visited the Women’s Legal Centre at their premises and what impression did you take away from that visit as to the adequacy and condition of those premises?
MR CORBELL: I visited the Women’s Legal Centre last year—if I recall correctly, late last year—and had a very good and positive conversation with a number of their staff and board members. I have a good relationship with the operators and the board of the Women’s Legal Centre. Indeed, in the budget—it was not this budget—last year we provided additional funding to the Women’s Legal Centre to maintain a particular service and program which would otherwise have come to an end. So we have a strong and proactive relationship with the Women’s Legal Centre,
In relation to their accommodation, it is the case that they operate in an older building. The building is constrained. It is cramped. Some of the facilities are not at a good level. For those reasons, the government and my directorate have provided direct financial assistance to them to allow for refurbishment and repair of that accommodation, to assist them with their accommodation pressures.
I accept that the Women’s Legal Centre do not see that as a permanent solution and the government will continue to work proactively with them in attempting to find a more permanent solution to their accommodation needs.
MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.
MRS DUNNE: Minister, for how long do you expect the Women’s Legal Centre to continue to operate from split locations and in such inadequate conditions?
MR CORBELL: That is a matter for the Women’s Legal Centre.
MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Seselja?