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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 25 October 2011) . . Page.. 4885 ..

Mr Hargreaves: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, the constant questioning from those opposite was the very basis of my question. It is continual and the minister has not fully answered that question yet.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Given both Mr Hargreaves’s explanation and the standing orders, there is nothing to preclude the question.

Mr Coe: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, I ask whether the supplementary Mr Hargreaves asked is relevant to the original question, which was with regard to the response about the report and nothing about staff morale.

Mr Hargreaves: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, the original question was about the response around the Public Advocate’s report and what the government was going to do about it. I wanted to see whether there was anything in that report regarding the morale of the staff providing care and protection as a result of the Public Advocate’s report.

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! There is no point of order, Mr Coe. I think that supplementary questions have operated in this place to this point in such a way that if they are fairly close to the original topic there has been a degree of latitude, within reason. Minister Burch, you have the floor.

MS BURCH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank Mr Hargreaves for his question. I have spoken to members of the staff, the team, involved in these circumstances, and I met with a number of them again just yesterday. I did a walk-through and met a number of them that were there. This was late in the afternoon and they were certainly working beyond normal hours to get on and do the important job that they do.

Are they aware of the negative commentary coming out of this place? I can say that they absolutely are aware of the negative comment that is coming out of this place. They just simply ask the question—

Mr Hanson: Why does our minister not take responsibility?

MS BURCH: Children were at risk and it just continues. Mr Hanson interjects and implies that the staff of care and protection do not want to take responsibility.

Members interjecting—


MS BURCH: That is just a horrid, horrid thing to say. Last week we had Mrs Dunne say they wilfully put children at risk. This is appalling commentary from those opposite. Rest assured that the staff in 11 Moore Street that get up every day to do a good job listen—

Members interjecting—

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