Page 490 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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centre one day a fortnight. This will be a free service to Gungahlin residents requiring relationship counselling and/or family counselling. The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service will attend the centre on a regular basis to undertake counselling and case management work with clients in the Gungahlin region. They will also join the centre as a partner to undertake community education and community development opportunities.

The centre will also provide an important resource for community education and development programs. We have already seen Dr John Irvine, one of Australia’s leading child psychologists, address more than 100 parents at each of a number of evening forums on the topics of “fathering boys”, “starting school” and “parenthood—the first 12 months”. Other programs currently being offered include over the trolley, held fortnightly at the Marketplace shopping centre. An initial eight-week babysitters group has been held in partnership with Gold Creek High School and the Gungahlin regional community service organisation. Relationships with schools are strong and the centre attended several welcome information sessions for new parents functions. Workers also attended a welcome information session for defence families who had recently moved to Gungahlin.

We are already seeing the results of this new model of community participation in Gungahlin. For instance, this morning a community breakfast was held at Ngunnawal primary school to promote to students and their families the importance of healthy eating and maintaining a nutritious diet. Around 300 students and their family members attended. As well as the free school breakfast to highlight the issues, a regular newsletter will now be provided to parents and students as part of this initiative.

I visited the centre late last year and it is a fantastic initiative. It will be interesting to hear back from the community how they feel the services are working in their area, and we will be taking all that feedback. I would like to congratulate all the staff who have been involved in setting this up from scratch, and I look forward to seeing the progress of the Tuggeranong centre, which is already under way.

Child protection

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister to Children, Youth and Family Support. Yesterday I drew attention to an incorrect statement she made on 24 June last year about her department’s failure to comply with its statutory requirements. She responded that her “… answer at that time was entirely correct.” She has a responsibility, which is reinforced by the Stanhope government’s own Code of Conduct for Ministers, to correct the record as soon as she became aware that she had made an incorrect statement to the Assembly. Why did she fail to correct to the record as soon as she became aware that she had made an incorrect statement to the Assembly?

MS GALLAGHER: I am sure my answer yesterday gave a comprehensive response to the question. My answer, and the advice that I have, was that all statutory obligations were being met. I have explained that to Mrs Dunne. She refuses to listen to the reasons. Subsequently, the Community Advocate had concerns about the timeliness of the completion of section 267 reports—not the fact that these reports are not being done, but the timeliness in finishing that work. I explained why those section 267 reports might not be achieved on time and the reasons behind that.

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