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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (3 September) . . Page.. 1958 ..

Mr Humphries: That is not true. You did not ask for approval. That is a lie, Wayne, and you know it.

MR BERRY: You refuse to give access to an opposing view. I will not be using that facility very often, I can tell you; only when it is in the public interest, and it was in the public interest to send it out this time. I will not be using rhetoric. I will not be sending union notices and that sort of thing.

Floriade : Parent Support Service

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (7.19): I will be very brief, but I want to say a couple of things. The information which the Labor Party received in relation to Floriade was received directly from CTEC, so if CTEC are giving wrong information - - -

Ms Carnell: May I have a look at it? I would love to see it, I really would.

MR STANHOPE: No, it was information received by telephone directly from CTEC. If they did not tell it as it exactly was, I cannot be held accountable for that. The information I have was precisely as I told it.

The other reason why I rose in the adjournment debate, Mr Speaker, was to mention the incredibly good work that the Parent Support Service does for the people of Canberra. The annual general meeting of the Parent Support Service is on next Tuesday and I think it is appropriate that we pause and reflect on the work that that organisation does. The Parent Support Service employs only two counsellors. They take over 1,700 calls a year. Their rate of calls has increased by 15 per cent over the last year. They provide an invaluable service to parents, particularly in Canberra, who are experiencing some crisis in relation to issues affecting their children.

The Parent Support Service is an organisation which is stretched to the limit. I find that ironic in this day of significant insecurity in the community, insecurity particularly relating to jobs and family relationships. If only we could provide some formula for value-adding the work that the Parent Support Service does. Then we would know that the impact in terms of other services that are not required as a result of family breakdown is really quite enormous.

It is interesting, Mr Speaker, that organisations such as the Parent Support Service do not advertise. They are afraid to advertise because they know that if they did they simply could not meet the extra demand that the advertising would generate. I think that is a real commentary on the strain which many community sector organisations are suffering these days. A service such as the Parent Support Service, which exists to support parents suffering some strain as a result of behavioural issues affecting their children, cannot advertise, not because they cannot afford it but because they know that if they did they simply could not meet the demand that their advertising would generate. That is a real concern to me. I would like to place on the record, Mr Speaker, my admiration for the incredibly valuable work that the Parent Support Service does.

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