Page 340 - Week 01 - Thursday, 9 December 2004

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(a) what is the Minister doing to overcome difficulties in recruiting appropriately qualified staff and (b) how has ‘new initiative’ staffing for the autism program not commencing until later in the year impacted upon this better than expected outcome.

Mr Hargreaves: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

a) Therapy ACT has reduced their staff vacancy rates to 6% as of November 2004. This is the result of a national advertising campaign in the press, allied health journals and the web jobsites. Staff have also attended a career session for undergraduate allied health students at Sydney University in September 2004, to encourage new graduates to apply for positions in the ACT.

b) The Autism and Family Support program is to commence in February 2005. This program will provide intense family and parent training for families for a short period after their child under school age is diagnosed with autism.

The expected outcomes of this program are:

Higher level of participation in daily activities by the child and a reduction in behavioural issues impacting on this

Greater confidence and skill of parents in supporting and parenting their child with autism, reduction in stress and the negative impact of this on family relationships

Improved links with childcare programs and early education programs

Community Consultation Online website
(Question No 38)

Mr Smyth asked the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, upon notice, on 8 December 2004:

(1) Further to the response to Question on notice No 1387 (Fifth Assembly) which stated that he would further enhance e-democracy through the A.C.T. Government’s Community Engagement Code of Practice and that this would be completed in July-August 2004, has this been completed;

(2) If so, when was it completed; if not, (a) when will it be completed and (b) what percentage of the projects have been completed to date.

Mr Hargreaves: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) No.

(2) (a) & (b) The ACT Government considers that the current consultation guidelines are confusing, lengthy and overly prescriptive, and will replace them with a more user-friendly document that will be more of a tool kit than a set of rules.

The Community Engagement Code of Practice is now known as the Community Engagement Manual. It is anticipated that the Community Engagement Manual will be completed by the end of the 2004/05 financial year.

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