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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 2729 ..

MR RUGENDYKE (continuing):

For that reason, Mr Speaker, I am unable to support the motion, but I do insist that the Government bear in mind the need for education and rehabilitation in the setting of Quamby. That must not be forgotten. The committee will look at those issues and make recommendations in relation to them.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to speak again. There are a couple of things Mr Rugendyke said that I would like to respond to.

Leave granted.

MR STEFANIAK: I thank members. I and previous government speakers have reiterated ad nauseam the education and rehabilitation aspects, but Mr Rugendyke said that Quamby needed a strong shake-up. Quamby has had a very strong shake-up, Mr Speaker. I think it would be painfully obvious to anyone that, as a result of the report last year, which has been mirrored to a very large extent by the coroner's recommendations, there has been a significant shake-up.

There has been a significant replacement of staff. A large number of staff have taken redundancies. The new manager has instituted the recommendations of the report last year. I have listed those recommendations which were mentioned in the coroner's report. The culture at Quamby now is a very different one from what it has been in years gone by. As someone who has some knowledge of that centre in the years prior to self-government, I would be surprised to find, even in its various forms, whether the position of young people there has ever been brighter. Those institutions are always difficult, but to say it needs a further strong shake-up is probably putting some aspersions on the excellent work that Mr White and Mr Duggan have been doing there over the past 12 months at least, in Mr White's case, and six months, in Mr Duggan's case.

I think, Mr Rugendyke, that Quamby has had a very strong shake-up and a very good shake-up. One of the reasons for that was the very thorough, comprehensive and, in most instances, very good recommendations made by Coroner Somes. I simply point that out to Mr Rugendyke. There are some other points that the committee obviously will be looking at, and I think that is terribly important too in terms of any further assistance that can be given to further improve the very significant improvements that have been made in recent times at Quamby.

MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, I think I need to seek leave to speak. I believe I have spoken already.

MR SPEAKER: You have.

MR KAINE: I seek leave to make a few short comments before the debate concludes.

Leave granted.

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