Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (3 September) . . Page.. 1937 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
I note also that the Government has decided that it is going to provide a mobile outreach component to the Woden Youth Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. Mr Speaker, I am concerned about this development but not because of the decision to provide this service, because it is obviously needed. I am concerned because it is a service that should be provided on an effective basis. If there is anything to be learnt about issues to do with providing services to indigenous people it is that they should be involved in the planning and the provision of these services.
The concern I have is that the department has made a decision, and presumably the Minister has made a decision, to require the Woden Youth Centre to run this mobile outreach service for ATSI young people without engaging in any real or effective consultation with the community that it is meant to serve, and that is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of the ACT. I understand it was incumbent on the Woden Youth Centre to go to the community, particularly to Gugan Gulwan, and say, "The Government has asked us to run this service. We just want you to know that they have asked us to do it. We have not pinched it from you".
That seems to me to be clumsy at best, and at worst completely insensitive. I do not know which it is. I hope it is just clumsy. Mr Speaker, you would have thought the Government and the Minister would have had a better grasp of these sorts of issues by now. You would have thought that the Minister would have understood these issues much better by now. He has been the Minister for youth affairs for nearly four years now. Instead of continually placing these centres in further jeopardy and in greater senses of insecurity, you would think that he understood the area and was working effectively in providing better services for young people. Mr Speaker, I hope that the Government does reconsider the issue of three-year funding to Civic and Woden.
Ms Carnell: No.
MR CORBELL: They are entitled to it according to the Government's own criteria.
Mr Berry: The Chief Minister said, "No".
MR CORBELL: The Chief Minister said, "No".
Ms Carnell: We have had a debate on this already. You are reflecting on a vote of the Assembly.
MR CORBELL: It demonstrates the arrogance of this Government.
Ms Carnell: Sorry; this Assembly voted on this and you did not win.
MR CORBELL: It demonstrates the arrogance of this Chief Minister. It demonstrates the completely unfeeling nature of this Chief Minister in recognising the importance of these services. Today I received a petition from 1,500 young people in the Woden and Weston Creek area who are concerned about the future of their youth centre. They request three-year funding. They knew that they were entitled to it. What is worse about this though, Mr Speaker, is that the Minister knew they were entitled to it as well.