Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (29 April) . . Page.. 153 ..
MR MOORE: Thank you, Mr Wood, for that question. I accept the recommendation, and the department has accepted the recommendation. Because your motion went through the Assembly this morning - and I take that matter very seriously - I met not only with representatives from the department shortly after that debate but also with one of the representatives of some of the groups - Mr Matthew Maurer, who was here during the debate today. Mr Maurer has been representing seven of the 11 people. I understand that he now represents six of the 11 people, according to what he told me at lunchtime today.
One of the difficulties we face is that Mr Maurer does not accept that recommendation. That is one of the negotiating points. That more than anything else highlights some of the difficulties associated with this project. We had an unsatisfactory situation. The department recognised that it was unsatisfactory and recognised that they had a problem. They asked Mr Kendrick to report. Mr Kendrick said, "Yes; this has been mishandled in some ways", as you were so keen to point out this morning. He also indicated that the department "lacked the experience and judgment to manage such a pilot project and thus underperformed (at least until very recently)". Even before Mr Kendrick reported, changes were under way. The department had recognised they had a problem and were doing something about it.
Mr Wood, I take very seriously the matter of urgency. I am working on it now. I have arranged for a further meeting with the department straight after question time, if I can extract myself from the chamber. I have arranged for a further meeting with Mr Maurer tomorrow morning. In the interim he has presented me with an idea on how to resolve this and I have presented to him an idea on how to resolve it. We have gone away to consider those issues. I hope that before this weekend we will be able to find a position that suits not just his clients but the full range of people who are interested in a position in one of these houses in Fisher.
I need to remind members that when this community is prepared to spend, through the Government, nearly $700,000 - not quite; $698,000 - on eight people we have to make sure that that money is appropriately spent. We also have to make sure that what we are doing is not just deciding what is good for them, this set of buildings, and building them but also ensuring that they themselves have a chance to say how they want that money spent in their own interests. Remember that this is not the building money; this is recurrent money. Mr Wood, I shall be doing my best to ensure that each and every one of those individuals has the best possible options available to them.
MR WOOD: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. A key question for me is this, Mr Moore: Will you be able to move residents into the Fisher houses before that new agency, if it is to be, is established, so that there will not be further undesirable delay? I hope you are not going to wait for a new agency, because that could take quite a while.
MR MOORE: That is part of the negotiations and part of the position that I have put to this representative of the majority of people that could go into those houses. I am not prepared to make a commitment as to whether or not that will work. What I am suggesting, as an approach to speed up the issue, is that we can resolve some things;