Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5199 ..
MR PRATT (continuing):
and they go and talk to these kids. They certainly track them down around the skating park, just off to one side. They say that they are mystified and baffled as to why these kids need to spend all their night hours there. I suppose that, if they could go the extra yard, they would probably find that there are some family disconnections.
We know about the government's RecLink program, which is extremely effective. I would like to talk about Project Saul, which is a very successful program being run in the Brindabellas, quite close to Wee Jasper. It is an incredible program. It consists of advanced adventure training facilities and is run by Steve Neuhaus and his family and a number of police volunteers who help out Mr and Mrs Neuhaus.
I was there recently and observed a Tuggeranong Valley school-I will not name the school-put six of its boys at risk through this program. It was very impressive to see that two teachers were also in that program with these kids and were sharing the same challenges and pain as the kids. The transformation in those boys over five days was quite incredible. The problem, of course, is that there simply is not enough money and there are not enough rehabilitation programs around to link all these things together. The danger is that a kid who graduates from such a program will go home and just fall back into the same rut. That is the challenge that we have to meet.
I would like to see more funding being focused in the future on programs such as Project Saul and the St Vincent de Paul one. I would even like to see a task force consisting of family services, education and the police organise to pull together these disparate programs so that, if we do find money in the system, perhaps it will be used to encourage these groups to take these programs that extra mile. That would also mean we would need to give magistrates the power to order kids to go into these programs, which Bill Stefaniak has talked about. I would commend the programs to the house.
MR SPEAKER: Order! The member's time has expired.
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Robert and Wendy Altamore
MRS DUNNE (11.12): I would like to raise a couple of issues in the adjournment debate. I note that yesterday the Chief Minister put out a press release extolling the completion of the William Hovell duplication, which is indeed an achievement for the electorate of Ginninderra that has been a long time coming. Over the past few months, as the place has been dug up, it has been a bit of an inconvenience. Yes, it is good to see the project completed.
I would like to put on the record that the money for it was, in fact, allocated and brought forward in the capital works program by a considerable number of years by the previous government when the current Leader of the Opposition was the Minister for Urban Services. Today, Mr Hargreaves was crowing about achievements. This achievement was, in fact, an initiative of the previous government.
I presume that Mr Stanhope made this announcement because he is a member for Ginninderra, as it is unusual for such an announcement to be made by someone who is not the Minister for Urban Services. I suppose, being Chief Minister, you get to steal