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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (27 May) . . Page.. 635 ..

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, we would certainly take into account their concerns about the proximity of that development. I will find out whether there is any deliberate reason for the withholding of those properties. Obviously, as we manage a large portfolio of houses - ACT Housing controls about 11 per cent of the housing stock in the ACT - there are times when we do hold some houses and times when we release some. But I will find out whether there is a specific reason for this and get back to you as quickly as I can.

Community Service Work Programs

MR WOOD: My question is to the Minister for Justice and Community Safety. It relates to the community work undertaken by offenders under community service orders or periodic detention orders. In letters to community groups and in response to a question last week from Mr Rugendyke, you have spelt out the changes that have been made, and my question seeks some more detail. You have indicated that offenders who were previously managed in gangs are now being placed directly with community agencies, which, as you say, will allow for support for a much larger number of organisations at a higher level. Minister, what will be the nature of that support? With CSO equipment - or most of it - such as tools and mowers, sold off, what range of work can be performed? If, as it appears, government trucks are no longer available for cartage, how will rubbish or other materials be moved?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I will need to take on notice much of what Mr Wood has asked. I think the question assumes that the nature of the work to be performed will be the same as the work that was done in gangs previously.

Mr Wood: No, it does not.

MR HUMPHRIES: It does to some extent, because if, for example, you are not involved in clearing out vegetation, you do not need trucks and lawnmowers. If the job is of a different nature, then presumably there would be a different set of tools involved.

Mr Wood: The first part of the question was: What is the nature of the work that is to be performed?

MR HUMPHRIES: I may need to take on notice the second part of the question, and I will do so. The support to people on community service order programs is obviously support provided both by the organisation to whom the person has been assigned and by the Office of Corrective Services, in that they ensure that there is a level of supervision of the person concerned that enables them to constructively provide their work within that context. In other words, they are doing their job; they are meeting the expectations of the community organisation concerned; and they are not, in turn, engaging in some activity which is inappropriate, which was, in some cases at least anecdotally, the case with the gangs.

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