Page 167 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 8 December 2004

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Last month, the ACT government supported a public housing summit to discuss the next steps in establishing a structure to ensure tenant involvement in the things that affect their lives. The outcomes of the summit and the project will be reported to my department with recommendations for tenant participation models, future resourcing needs and proposals for further work in 2005.

I went to the tenant participation summit and was encouraged by the way in which the people who attended—there was a huge number of ordinary people who are occupying public housing stock—just wanted to be involved. Many Housing ACT staff were there in their own time and they wanted to work jointly with the tenants. It is a refreshing change to listening to Mrs Burke’s scaremongering, banshee wailing issues.

Education—staff behaviour

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, my question is to the minister for education. Minister, you will remember that in November last year the chief executive of your department sent out a guideline on inappropriate behaviour by all staff in relation to improper contact with students. In November of this year the chief executive sent out another memo stating:

Despite this previous advice being provided there have been incidents of inappropriate actions by staff. These inappropriate actions have resulted in the dismissal and resignation of teaching staff.

How many instances of inappropriate action by staff regarding improper contact with students have there been in the past year?

MS GALLAGHER: I am aware of two. If there are more that haven’t been brought to my attention, I will report back to the Assembly. I am certainly aware of two.

MR PRATT: Thank you, minister. Minister, how many staff have been dismissed in the past year for improper conduct with students?

MS GALLAGHER: Again, I will report back because I don’t want to make any errors here. I am certainly aware of two dismissals this year.

Environment—climate change

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Environment. Minister, the Premier of New South Wales has released a second report into climate change, which is entitled Climate change in New South Wales. In that report he predicts increasing drought, higher temperatures and a shift in rainfall patterns for Canberra and the region. In fact, in releasing the report, the Premier specifically identified south-eastern New South Wales as being subject to dramatic climatic extremes. Given the grim forecast for the diminished rainfall, will the ACT re-evaluate its predictions—as outlined in volume 3 of “Think water, act water”—of increased water resources for the Cotter and Queanbeyan rivers?

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