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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 3605 ..

MR SPEAKER (continuing):

It has been the general practice of the House that questions without notice which are substantially the same as questions already on the Notice Paper are not permissible.

I think you are right, Mrs Dunne: how much has already been done means about the same as what has been carried out to date. I hope everybody will find out the answer in due course. I rule the question out of order.

Ministerial code of conduct

MR CORNWELL: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Chief Minister. Mr Stanhope, in your ministerial statement on government commitments on 11 December 2001 you stated that "we will substantially complete the ministerial code of conduct ... by March 2002". It is September 2003 and you still have not completed this code of conduct. I appreciate that it must be particularly difficult, if nigh well impossible, for your government but when will it finally be ready?

MR STANHOPE: I will take the question on notice, Mr Speaker.

MR CORNWELL: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question and no doubt the Chief Minister will also take this on notice. Could I also ask why the code has taken you so long to develop?

MR STANHOPE: I will take that on notice, Mr Speaker.

Youth support workers in school initiative

MS TUCKER: My question is to the Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services and is in regard to youth support workers in high schools. As I understand it, these workers will have both a community development function and a caseload of individual students. I also understand that these workers, as employees of the department, will not be able to have an unequivocal brief to see the student as their primary client.

Research, including that in our own committee reports, consistently demonstrates the need for the student to be the primary client and for students to know that support is seen to be safe, non-authoritative, not connected to negative experiences of the school, confidential, removed from disciplinary processes, independent enough to allow the school to be challenged and for sensitive issues within schools to be raised, and able to advocate outside.

So why have you made the decision to make these new support workers employees of the school and therefore less independent, and how are you working with students at risk to determine the role of these workers?

MS GALLAGHER: I have not made any final decision on the model that is to be used with the youth support workers in school initiative. There is a working party and a reference group, which are currently meeting to talk through these issues. The reference group has quite a wide range of stakeholder interest on it, such as the Youth Coalition, AEU, P&C and an advocacy organisation outside the department to provide us with advice on the most appropriate model.

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