Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 948 ..
MR HARGREAVES (continuing):
I accept the fact that services need to be reviewed from time to time. I welcome those reviews and so do the services; but they do not have to be reviewed under the threat of discontinued funding. We all recognise the fact that in three years' time they are going to be there. What is the harm in restoring to these people the guarantee of their existence and then talking to them seriously about the services that they deliver? I do not see why we need to have the sword of Damocles, also known as the will of the Chief Minister, hanging over their heads. I do not accept it at all.
Mr Speaker, the structure of services does not have to be connected every single time to guaranteed funding. We talk about business plans - this Government, and others for that matter, is really keen on people developing business plans - but business plans are not worth zot if they are for only 12 months. They need to be for a considerably longer period than that. You cannot say to a business, "Oh, you have 12 months' funding; good for you". You need to guarantee them at least three years of sustenance. I am suggesting that the same thing applies to all of our youth centres. They should be treated the same. I do not accept that any of the youth centres are any different. They service the same group of people in this community.
Mr Speaker, the Woden and Civic youth centres have an additional burden. If they are different from the others, it is because they have an additional burden. That additional burden is that they also look after itinerant kids from other parts of the town. The Erindale Youth Centre, for example, looks after kids in the Tuggeranong Valley, and so does the Tuggeranong Youth Centre, and they do an excellent job. But the ones in Woden and Civic also look after kids from the Tuggeranong Valley and from Belconnen, and they have an additional burden. We should be recognising that.
When we come specifically to Woden, Kim Sattler, as my colleague Mr Rugendyke has said, has done some magnificent work in this town. She has been recognised widely for that work and now is feeling fear. She is trying to operate under an umbrella of fear, which is totally inappropriate for the quality of work that she delivers. How many of us remember the initiatives that she drove to prevent youth suicide in this town? A number of people, some experts from interstate - Professor Kosky is one that I can recall - came and told us how we can counter this insidious disease that strikes our town. Kim Sattler was right behind all of that stuff.
Ms Carnell: And we funded it.
MR HARGREAVES: You funded it, and you sit there with a grin on your face and you tell me that you are going to drop their bloody funding down to one year. How dare you! I withdraw the expression "bloody", Mr Speaker. However, I do not withdraw the feeling that I put behind this. How can you sit there, Chief Minister, and say that you back that woman but draw her funding down to one year? Shame on you, Chief Minister!
I find that grossly intolerable, particularly when recently we had an expression of a need down at Tuggeranong, down at the backblocks of South Tuggeranong. The Minister for Education, Mr Stefaniak, came along and addressed the Community Council down there and showed us in, I thought, great terms his commitment to youth. I appreciated him coming down, and the council expressed their appreciation for that too. We believed it.