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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 August 2011) . . Page.. 3241 ..

across the board. We now have 66 staff at Bimberi youth detention centre. That includes management, team leaders and youth detention workers. There have been some struggles with staff, but that was mixed with recruitment; it has been difficult to recruit staff. This government has invested in Bimberi from the budgets that have been in place since Bimberi has become operational.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, why did you ignore the recommendations of Oakton consultants when they said that staff numbers were low and when they predicted an increase in the number of residents who would go to Bimberi, and why did you fail to take action in December 2009 on their critical recommendations?

MS BURCH: It is not possible for Oakton or anyone to predict, as I have said, increases in numbers—

Mrs Dunne: They did.

MS BURCH: Well, I do not know on what methodology they based that. As far as what action came from that, in regard to what action the department and I took in regard to that report, there is an investment of $1.7 million in the budget.

MS HUNTER: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.

MS HUNTER: Minister, in relation to the recruitment and retention of staff, have regular supervision and debriefing, particularly on critical incidents, been introduced for staff; if so, how many staff have taken up that offer or been offered such a service during the last few months?

MS BURCH: Certainly staff support and supervision have been something that I was very mindful of towards the latter part of last year. We recruited Danny O’Neil to provide some supervision, some work in on-the-ground support to the workers. He was there, I think, until July this year. He has been going in regularly, at least once a week, and working with the youth workers.

There is no doubt that we can improve our staff supervision and training. I am pleased to say that our induction now covers 50 per cent of cert IV in youth work and at the moment our most recent advice is saying that 75 per cent of staff are up-skilling, are undertaking training to improve their existing qualifications.

Ongoing supervision is something that management needs to keep its eye on week in and week out. It is something that was identified in the Human Rights Commission review, but it is something that we identified in the latter part of last year, which was why we implemented that significant change management.

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