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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 3632 ..

MS GALLAGHER (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (4.14): I will speak to the substantive motion and seek leave to move the two amendments circulated in my name.

Leave granted.

MS GALLAGHER: I move the amendments which read as follows:

(1) delete the words "introduce a trial, similar to"and replace with "refer the";

(2) add the words after the word guardians "to the Ministers Youth Council for advice and report back to the Assembly, with a view to introducing a similar trial in the ACT".

I seek leave to amend the first amendment.

Leave granted.

MS GALLAGHER: The word "the"is added after the word "to". The first amendment now reads:

(1) delete the words "introduce a trial, similar to the"and replace with "refer the";

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mrs Cross for bringing this interesting idea to the Assembly's attention. On the amendments I have circulated, as to looking at the idea of a trial project similar to the out of harm's way agreement, there is a caveat that we would seek the advice of the minister's youth council and report back to the Assembly, prior to agreeing to a trial of this proposal.

That is in line with the government's commitment to consult with young people on youth policy matters, as they affect them in the ACT. We have quite a targeted program under Youth InterACT, whereby we consult with young people and encourage them to participate in initiatives affecting them. The goal of Youth InterACT is to encourage more young people to get involved in the community and in government. This seems like an excellent idea to refer to the minister's youth council.

The minister's youth council provides advice to me on a number of matters. They have already established nine portfolio groups, which address several of the issues raised by Mrs Cross. Those nine portfolio groups are health and wellbeing, alcohol and other drugs, education, employment and training, entertainment and recreation, legal, justice and safety, housing, transport, and environment.

The council is supported by the youth services branch of the Department of Education, Youth and Family Services. The youth services branch works to implement the government's four youth policy themes-participation, access, transitions and support.

Last weekend, I opened the second Youth InterACT conference called "Kapow! empowering young people". At the launch of Kapow, I was able to announce the establishment of new Youth InterACT grants and scholarships totalling $25,000. These

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