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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 7 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

The SACS award has been of concern for us for some time. Other issues for the SAAP sector are well documented in their analysis of their clients, which shows that the clients who are using the SAAP sector have increasingly complex needs and that the under-resourcing of this sector is putting workers in the sector at risk. OH&S issues are major. People are not staying in the work, which is a problem, and clients are suffering as well. We were pleased to see that the government has acknowledged this and that there has been an injection of funds. The SACS award is going to be supported by the government. We know that there is growth funding. We know that there is a review of the sector. We are pleased to see that this work is being done by government, and I am happy to give credit for that.

There were other subjects we looked at in detail. Indigenous education is always of concern to the committee and, I would think, to many people in our community. The issue of retention rates and of students dropping out after year 10 and students dropping out between the beginning of year 11 and the completion of year 12 is also of concern and has been raised in other forums since we did this report. We mention in this report again and ask the government to provide much more detailed analysis and take more interest in what is happening to students who are dropping out. As we know, since we did this report, we have had community public debate on this, and the government has said that they are prepared to look at it. We are also working with this issue in the committee's inquiry into young people at risk of not completing their education.

The last point I make is that we commented on Parentlink. Parentlink is funded by the NRMA, as well as by the government. The committee commented on this arrangement, because it is a significant shift. It is happening to some degree in other areas, but it is the first time I have seen it to this degree in human service delivery. I am concerned-and the committee supported that concern-that the government is shifting responsibility for funding essential services to the private sector. We need to have a much clearer picture from government. If this is a strategy they intend to pursue and to further integrate into their idea of the role of government, then we need further debate on that if we are to understand the detail of what that will mean, what the corporate sector will get for that, what it will mean for quality and what it would mean if the private sector pulls out.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Finance and Public Administration-Standing Committee

Report No 9

MR QUINLAN (10.59): I present the following report:

Finance and Public Administration-Standing Committee (incorporating the Public Accounts Committee)-Finance Committee Report No 9-Report on Chief Minister's Department Annual and Financial Reports 1999-2000, Department of Treasury and Infrastructure Annual and Financial Reports 1999-2000 and Legislative Assembly Secretariat Annual and Financial Reports 1999-2000, dated 18 January 2001, together with a copy of the extracts of the minutes of proceedings.

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