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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 94 ..

MR PRATT: My supplementary question is: can the minister confirm that her fight to retain the $7.4 million referred to in the Canberra Times will be a fight with the forces of general revenue as a result of her government's economic mismanagement, following the Treasurer's revelation this morning that the ACT's bushfire costs will be largely covered by insurance?

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Pratt, I have had no advice that the $7.4 million will not be spent in the education portfolio. In thinking about what question you might ask me today, I thought that that would probably be the one, and I was right. When I saw you scribbling away as soon as I said it in the media conference, it made me think maybe I had just said the wrong thing. Perhaps the choice of words should have been: "If in addition to the $7.4 million I need to go in fighting for the budget, then I intend to do so."

Community service contracts

MS DUNDAS: My question is for the minister for community services, Minister Wood. I understand that this government promised to end the purchaser/provider model of funding for the community sector in the ACT, and hence all community service contracts are set to expire on 30 June this year so they can continue in the 2003-04 financial year under a new model. Minister, can you please inform the Assembly what progress has been made to ensure that funding for community services will be provided after 30 June this year under a new model, and when will that model be available?

MR WOOD: We still have a little distance to go before that time. We are working through all the issues around that. I am aware of the concern in the community sector about the various contracts and the various levels of funding that apply. I cannot tell you today just what the outcome will be, but I am confident that all those measures will be dealt with within the timeframe quite comfortably and that that very excellent range of services will continue.

MS DUNDAS: Minister, I welcome your commitment to meet the deadline of 30 June, but given that many deadlines in the process of developing a new model have already been missed and that both the government and community services are extremely stretched, how do you intend to meet the deadline of 30 June and put an end to the uncertainty in the sector.

MR WOOD: I give the obvious answer, Ms Dundas: by good management, by attending to all of the issues and by covering all the details, we will do it quite well.


MS MacDONALD: My question is to the minister for education, Ms Gallagher. I would like to congratulate her on her appointment as minister. I am sure she will do a sterling job as Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Women. Can the minister tell the Assembly what the government intends to do about the recommendations of the report of the inquiry into ACT education funding, the Connors report?

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