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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 18 October 2011) . . Page.. 4522 ..


out of home care provider to provide that additional oversight. Ultimately you could ask: was that strong enough? I am not quite sure. We will go through the rest of the 550 or thereabouts placements that the Public Advocate has been asked to do at my behest. This is an interim report. This is the first part of the report. I have also asked her to look at the placement arrangements about all of the current children in out of home care.

MR COE: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, what questions did you put to Housing ACT about the condition of the property and what they planned to do to fix it and what responses did you get?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Coe for his question. The question I asked was, “What maintenance have we done?” And I provided that report to you. I did ask, “Did anyone from the department go and sight the property?” The answer was no, and the rationale given for that was that it was head-leased by another organisation and they assumed that they were responsible—they are the head lessees of that property—for the property.

Do I think that is good enough, the fact that children went to a place with a broken window, with inadequate bedding arrangements and a heating system or a power system that clearly needed work? No, which is why—I go to my earlier statement—we now have a property through Housing ACT that we are directly responsible for and we will ensure it is in a fit condition.

MS HUNTER: Supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.

MS HUNTER: Minister, given that the Vardon inquiry found that not all children in the care and protection system were safe, as it was unknown where they were, and that the Public Advocate has also noted that the current arrangements of some of the 24 children are also unknown, what have you done to assure yourself that those children are safe?

MS BURCH: I have sought information about those placements and I can inform the Assembly that, if we refer to the children numbers in the report, child 1, 2, 3 and 4 are currently in a kinship care placement; child 18 is in a kinship care placement; child 19 is at home; child 20 is at home; and child 21 is with Marymead.

Transport services

DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for Transport. Minister, earlier this month you released the draft transport strategy, transport for Canberra, which sets out plans to improve the public transport system. How will the strategy deliver an improved public transport system for Canberra?


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