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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 November 2021) . . Page.. 3637 ..


development of a model of an external review of child protection decisions—something I know that Mrs Kikkert is particularly passionate about. I have shared her frustration over a number of years about how slowly this project has moved at times, but we will do it. The CYP Act will also involve the implementation of a charter of rights for families involved in the child protection system, which is a commitment through the Parliamentary and Governing Agreement. The CYP Act will be redesigned to streamline systems and practices to ensure that resources are focused on better practice casework and earlier intervention strategies, including by embedding a restorative approach across the child and family continuum.

Among the new initiatives in this budget are significant long-term investments in our community, which will in turn help to address the long-term intergenerational issues that too many parts of our community face. This is a budget that delivers on key Labor election commitments which form the backbone of our government’s strong social policy agenda.

In closing, I want to thank the staff of the Community Services Directorate—the whole directorate, but particularly those who work in my areas of responsibility as Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. Mrs Jones talked about the incredible work the Office for Multicultural Affairs does with a relatively small staff, and the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs also does an incredible amount of work right across government and the community. It is so engaged, and its advice is highly valued not just by me but also by other ministers and particularly by other directorates right across government.

I also want to take the opportunity to thank our community partners. The non-government sector is vital to delivering improved services across my portfolios, and particularly the Aboriginal community-controlled sector, which we will continue to work with, to grow and to strengthen. Finally, I particularly want to thank those with lived experience who have worked with us to codesign some of these initiatives, including Safe and Connected Youth, and with whom we will continue to work to empower them and to hear those voices of lived experience as we continue to improve our services.

These are complex services that we will never get 100 per cent right, but we are on an ongoing journey of improvement. When I look back over the five years that I have been minister in these portfolios—some of them consistently, some of them off and on—I see real change and I see incredible opportunity over the remainder of this term of government to really cement some of that change and drive it forward. I look forward to working with the Community Services Directorate to achieve that. With that, I commend the budget to the Assembly.

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (4.34): COVID has taught us a lot about our community. We can all be proud that Canberra is a place where people are willing to lend a hand to help others. However, COVID has also shown that the way things were before was not always the best way to create a kind, caring and connected community. It has


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