Page 491 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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I have taken on notice the question Mrs Dunne asked me about at what point was I made aware of the department’s not being able to meet the timeliness of that part—I think it is subsection (4) (a)—of section 267, and I will respond when I get that advice. My answer to the Assembly was correct. Mrs Dunne can keep her head bogged down in trying to trick the government on child protection matters, but the reality is that she just cannot understand and accept the work that is being done in child protection. If she looks at all the comments I have made, she will see I have said it will be some time. If she reads the Vardon report, she will understand she made comments around section 267.

Mrs Dunne: Point of order: Under standing order 118, the minister is supposed to answer the question and not debate it. The minister is going back over things that she said yesterday which did not address my question yesterday and do not address my question today. My question today is why did she fail to correct the record—not what are we doing to fix up child support? This is not the issue. I do not want to debate that; I want to know why the minister failed to correct the record. I put out a press release on 27 January that alerted her to the fact that she made a mistake, and she has not corrected the record at the first available opportunity. Why has she not done it?

MR SPEAKER: The minister is entitled to respond to the question, and she has several minutes in which she can respond to it. She is not off the subject matter, so I do not feel I can oblige her to do anything other than what she is doing.

MS GALLAGHER: If you refer back to the Vardon report, comments were made about the annual reports, and I think there was reference in Gwen Murray’s report as well. This is not new news. It is like they have uncovered this new scandal in child protection. It is not news that the child protection system has been and is under stress. The opposition cannot come to grips with that, even though it has been fully briefed and has a whole stack of information. The ability to do all the work required has been compromised by the huge increases in workload that the office is dealing with. Mrs Dunne can keep running with it, and everyone will get tired of it. In the meantime, we will continue doing all the work that we have to do to fix the system that her party left in disarray when it left government, after years of neglect. She can keep niggling around the edges, saying, “Why did you not say this or do that?”

MR SPEAKER: The minister will come to the point of the question.

MRS DUNNE: I ask a supplementary question. What steps will the minister take to correct her answer of 24 June 2004 and put the record straight in this place?

MS GALLAGHER: I answered that question yesterday, and in part in answer to the first part of the member’s question.

Mrs Dunne: No, you didn’t.



MR STEFANIAK: My question is directed to the minister for sport and recreation. During the election—in fact, a couple of days before the October election—the

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