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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1037 ..


issues. This budget brings the total resources committed to implementing the 28 Our Booris, Our Way recommendations to more than $15.7 million.

As we talked about earlier, and as the Chief Minister talked about in his introduction and response to the estimates hearings report, this budget is effectively the second budget process that was conducted in this year and therefore a more limited process than might otherwise have been seen. But it builds on the 2020-21 supply bill that was handed down prior to the 2020 election. I have had the opportunity to talk to the community sector about how these two things relate and to remind them that there was a significant focus on community services in the supply bill and this will not be forgotten as we move into the 2021-22 budget process.

Some of the things that we are building on through this budget, and will be building on in the next budget, include the following. It goes back to the need to improve supports for families of children and young people in the child protection system. The supply bill committed to the implementation of the therapeutic care court in the ACT Childrens Court, now called the care and protection intensive list. That is just kicking off. It is an important process for our continued journey to build a more restorative child protection system.

We also committed to funding to support the next stage of A Step Up for Our Kids, the development of our next out of home care strategy, and how we are going to deliver out of home care services in what is always a complex environment, and one where evidence is continuing to emerge constantly.

We provided significant stimulus funding through the Community Support Package and the Children, Young People and their Families Package. That included some continued funding for the Safe & Connected Youth Project, which is being undertaken in partnership with the sector. Work is currently underway to refurbish a house to provide residential respite support based on the Ruby’s model from South Australia, with $1 million contributed from the screwdriver-ready project. That work is well underway.

Finally, I want to quickly touch on the sustainability of funding for the community sector, in my role as Minister for Families and Community Services. The 2020-21 supply bill committed funding to the ERO—equal remuneration order—supplement for an additional three years, to provide equivalent funding into the base funding for eligible community organisations from November 2021 where the equal remuneration order funding has been paid to date. This will support the community sector to continue to provide high-quality services to the ACT community and remunerate staff fairly, allowing community organisations to deliver quality services and focus on supporting Canberrans most in need.

This commitment by the ACT government will prevent significant job losses or reduction in services, with 41 organisations receiving the supplementary funding through the Children, Youth and Family Services Program, the Children’s Services Program, the Community Development program, and the homelessness service coordinated by Housing ACT. Contracts that are due to expire in June 2021 will be


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