Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 10 Hansard (5 September) . . Page.. 3147 ..
MR SPEAKER: Do you have a supplementary question, Mr Whitecross?
MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, my question actually related to resources for investigating complaints, not the foster carers. Minister, my supplementary question is: How many days does it take your department to begin investigating reports of suspected child abuse after the initial report is received?
MR STEFANIAK: I hardly think that is a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I think my department has a very good record on reported incidents of child abuse. That would really be on a case-by-case basis. Some things can be investigated virtually immediately; others might take a little longer.
Mr Whitecross: What is the average, then?
MR SPEAKER: You do not have to answer this. It is really a second question.
MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mr Humphries. I heard our colleague Ms Follett on the radio over the weekend saying that the ACT Government had to be sure that the Commonwealth's budget cuts to the Australian Federal Police national budget do not impact on police numbers and services within the Territory. Minister, I wonder whether Ms Follett's concerns are real, or was it just another cheap headline grabbing effort from her?
Ms Follett: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: I have taken issue with Mr Hird about so-called courtesy address or courtesy titles. I think you should pull him up for continuing to deliberately mispronounce that.
MR SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order. Please refer to members and Ministers by their correct titles.
MR HIRD: Ms.
MR SPEAKER: Whatever their courtesy titles may be. If Ms Follett wishes to be known by that title, please do so.
MR HIRD: I apologise, Mr Speaker. Minister, I wonder whether Ms Follett's concerns are real, or was it just another cheap headline grabbing effort from Ms Follett?
MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Hird for that question. I also heard Ms Follett's comments on the weekend. She was basically saying that the cuts to the Commonwealth budget for the Australian Federal Police pose some potential problem for the ACT. She was seeking assurances from the Government that we would defend the line or ensure that any cuts to the ACT were compensated for by extra spending by the ACT.