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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (19 February) . . Page.. 365 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

I have received advice from the chair of the board, Mr Peter McPhillips, in relation to these two officers. Mr McPhillips has advised that the board considers that both officers have worked assiduously to make sure that good services are developed and delivered to disabled people and their families and has commended their commitment and dedication.

Ms Grayson has voluntarily stood aside from her duties while current issues are addressed. Ms Grayson's approach is courageous and selfless and I believe that she should be commended for it. The board has advised that it has full confidence in Mr Szwarcbord continuing to undertake the full range of his present duties, including the management of the disability project.

The remaining named senior official is Ms Heather McGregor, who holds the statutory office of Community Advocate. Ms McGregor has been the ACT Community Advocate for 10 years. In addition to reading the inquiry report and Ms McGregor's response, I have taken advice from the chief executive of the Department of Justice and Community Safety, Mr Tim Keady. After consideration and having regard for Mr Keady's advice, I wish to inform the Assembly of my complete confidence in Ms McGregor's suitability to continue to serve as Community Advocate and to discharge the important responsibilities of her position.

In summary, the problems highlighted by this report occurred under previous governments. My government accepts its responsibility to move forward in a constructive and consultative manner to deal with the issues highlighted in the inquiry report. It is now time to start the healing process. The government has put in place a comprehensive process to achieve this objective.

I look forward to the Assembly and the many interested groups and individuals in the Canberra community joining us in this task. I have made a commitment on behalf of my government to move forward collaboratively with individuals with disabilities and their families, carers, guardians and service providers to improve services and improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. The board of inquiry report and the responses to it will inform this process of change.

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

Legislation program-autumn 2002

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women) (4.02): Mr Speaker, for the information of members I present the following paper:

2002 Autumn Legislation Program, dated 19 February 2002.

I seek leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

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