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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (29 October) . . Page.. 2464 ..

MR SPEAKER: It is getting awfully close to an expression of opinion, Mr Humphries.

MR HUMPHRIES: I think that it is a stupid question, Mr Speaker. I simply say this to it: This Government will continue to provide information to people about what it is that the Government is trying to do, both within the Government's ranks and outside it. If that is a crime, Mr Speaker, then we certainly stand guilty of that.

Southside Youth Refuge

MR OSBORNE: My question is to the Minister for Education, Mr Stefaniak. I have given him some notice of this question, Mr Speaker. Minister, you may recall some questions I asked you towards the end of last year regarding an incident at the Southside Youth Refuge in Kambah. Just to refresh your mind, towards the end of September last year the board of that refuge suspected that something was going on there in regard to some funds and eventually called in the police. I believe that three of the staff were sacked and the police began an investigation to see whether criminal charges should be laid against those staff. Minister, I certainly do not want you to mention any names, but you did indicate at the time that the police inquiry was ongoing. As a year has elapsed since this incident, could you inform the Assembly whether the police have concluded their inquiry? What is the current situation in regard to the Southside Youth Refuge?

MR STEFANIAK: Thank you, Mr Osborne, for the question. I certainly will not be mentioning any names, but I understand that the police were called and investigated a number of allegations. A number of other matters have occurred over the course of the last 12 months in relation to that, including some problems which will result in some matters being heard in the Industrial Relations Court in February 1999. In relation to the police investigation, I am advised that they have taken some action. No doubt, those matters will be dealt with in due course as a result of the action that the police have taken. In terms of the operation of the centre, apart from two weeks when the centre was actually being painted, I understand, and closed for maintenance, it has maintained its responsibilities in terms of young people.

MR OSBORNE: Minister, I understand that the Government is considering tendering out the running of the Southside Youth Refuge on a similar basis to the Erindale and Tuggeranong youth centres. Can you confirm whether this is true?

MR STEFANIAK: Yes, Mr Osborne, I understand that there is an interim management committee which it is proposed will remain until such time as a tender has been successful. I also understand that the issue of the tender is quite satisfactory in terms of the management committee. That committee will continue in place as an interim committee until such time as the tender is successful.

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