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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 5 Hansard (2 May) . . Page.. 1370 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

The next matter is that if you are going to give the community service organisations this task of being support people and trainers of the community in the use of information technology it has to be acknowledged as an output coming from that organisation. There have to be very clear processes about how community organisations are going to be paid for taking on that work. If they are not, it is going to be another burden on community service providers, and that in itself is not going to be a useful thing.

The community sector cannot afford to have these extra pressures put on them. A divide already exists between the community sector and business and government in terms of everything-how they operate, the buildings they work in, the computer technology they work with, their expertise and training opportunities. A lot of community service organisations have given up training. They had to sacrifice training to pay the SACS award. That is now being picked up by government, but there has still been quite a neglect of training opportunities for the community sector.

You have this divide between the community sector and the government and business, and it is important that we make sure that we do not widen the divide by having this poorly thought through. I understand there is potential for it to be well supported. I hope that is what happens, although I cannot see it with the amount of money that has been allocated so far.

The last thing I would like to quickly touch on is the whole question of knowledge technology. We know that that is a growing field. We know that knowledge-based technology-

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hird): Order! The member's time has expired.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (4.00): I want to make a brief contribution to this debate. I am astonished at how much negativity members have been able to dredge up to throw into this particular issue. Both Mr Corbell and Ms Tucker have risen in this debate, saying that they believe that this is an important issue and welcome it being raised in this way, then proceeding to regale the Assembly with all sorts of reasons why, with the work that has been done so far on this particular initiative within the task force Ms Burke chaired, you have to look behind the cup to see what flaw in it is, to see where the weakness, the disadvantage or disbenefit might be. For an issue that is supposed to be so important, we are finding lots of reasons why this initiative being taken to deal with it should not be treated all that seriously.

Mr Tucker used the word "tokenistic". What exactly is tokenistic about this effort, Ms Tucker? That is the word you used. You said it was tokenistic. It is quite insulting to the members of the task force that they are being told that they did their job in half-hearted way. I was not on the task force. I do not know the amount of work they put in. But I do know that it is not exactly fair in this place to receive a report of this kind, to see it on the table, and to comb through it looking for the nits you can find and to throw cold water over it.

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