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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (28 April) . . Page.. 83 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

I also think the Pettit inquiry was right in saying that one of the things that we do not do well in this place is sell the great work that does come out of this Assembly. We really do not get out to the community generally the message that this is not one of the least efficient governments or parliaments in Australia but probably one of the most efficient in terms of the speed, accuracy and efficiency with which we do our job. Mr Speaker, I hope that this report is taken seriously by all members of this place. I do not doubt that that will happen.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Report on Inquiry into Services for Children at Risk -
Government Response and Ministerial Statement

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education) (3.55): I present, and ask for leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement on, the Government's response to Report No. 7 of the Standing Committee on Social Policy of the Third Assembly entitled "Services for Children at Risk" which was presented to the Assembly on 9 December 1997.

Leave granted.


That the Assembly takes note of the papers.

Mr Speaker, the Government thanks the members of the Social Policy Committee in the last Assembly for the work they put into the report tabled last December. It is, indeed, an extensive coverage of services for children at risk in the ACT. The Government agrees with the spirit of the report, especially those recommendations which address the coordination of government services, and I must reiterate that we are firmly committed to continue to look at ways of improving the services to children in the at-risk group.

The report identifies a number of areas for further work which the Government is progressing. However, the reality is that in the area of community and family services there will always be more needs than can be met from within the available budget; but I would like, Mr Speaker, to briefly discuss some of the achievements of the last Government in this important area.

In its last term of office the Government made considerable efforts to deal with the complex issues relating to children at risk and the provision of family support programs which assist them. Initiatives which commenced and are continuing include the creation of opportunities for cooperation between schools and government and funded non-government community services. The results of this are now being seen in innovations such as the link between the Tuggeranong Family Support Service and Kambah High School.

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