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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 May 2021) . . Page.. 1271 ..

Torres Strait Islanders, LGBTIQ and women with disabilities, to provide advice to me, as a minister in the ACT government on matters affecting women in the ACT. Cabinet then confirms the membership of the committee.

MS CASTLEY: Minister, would you describe the Ministerial Advisory Council on Women as time consuming and a burden for its members, as your colleague Minister Cheyne said it would be for small business?

MS BERRY: I do not think that the comparison is fair. It is definitely time consuming for them, in volunteering their time to provide advice to me, and I very much appreciate that, so that we have different, diverse experiences across the ACT in how they provide that advice, in representing different people in the community. I refer particularly to their expertise and their own experiences, not necessarily that of their organisations.

MR PARTON: Minister, why can’t advisory councils be established for other important groups like business, given the importance of the Advisory Council on Women?

MS BERRY: I think Minister Cheyne has responded to that question previously.

Schools—hazardous materials

MR CAIN: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. After much prompting from the opposition, the government finally released a list of schools that contained hazardous materials. The list contained only active schools. Following the mass closure of schools by the Labor government in 2006 many of these closed schools are being used as premises for community groups, services, businesses and even early learning centres. These schools are now under the management of the ACT Property Group. These former schools were not included in the list released by the government of schools with hazardous materials. Has ACT Property Group investigated the presence of hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead paint in decommissioned schools that serve as premises for community services, organisations and businesses?

MR STEEL: I thank Mr Cain for his question. I will take that on notice and come back to the Assembly.

MR CAIN: Minister, while you are considering that, will you commit to assessing these schools for the presence of hazardous materials?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for his supplementary question. I will come back to the Assembly.

MS LAWDER: Minister, will the government also fund the removal of hazardous materials from these decommissioned schools if required?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for her supplementary. The ACT government is responsible largely for maintaining ACT property in the Property Group portfolio. I will respond in relation to that question in substance on notice.

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