Page 2441 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 29 June 2005

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MR SESELJA: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Minister, given that Mr Savery and ACTPLA have said that they made no comment on the direction, did you mislead the Assembly in stating that you considered the advice of ACTPLA?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, as I have indicated, the authority did provide comments to me. They were in the nature of, as I have just indicated to Mr Seselja, a verbal discussion between me and the authority. I sought the authority’s view—that is, Mr Savery’s view as the Chief Planning Executive—prior to making the direction.

Therapy services

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Yesterday, the Treasurer advised the Assembly that $500,000 has been converted from a government payment for output to capital works within the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services. Minister, why did you agree to redirect these funds for the refurbishment of the Therapy ACT facility in Holder? Why didn’t you request funds from the capital works program to upgrade occupational health and safety and security issues at the Holder facility, rather than transferring funds that are desperately needed to recruit more qualified staff for therapy services?

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, as Mrs Burke may have known, if she had turned up to the estimates committee hearing, the nature of therapy services is being enhanced into two hubs. This is part of that process and this was the most appropriate method of directing funds to enhance that program.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question.

MRS BURKE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, if there are difficulties in recruiting qualified staff for therapy services, why is it not a priority to expend the allocated funds in ensuring that the right staff are selected, thus enhancing the delivery of therapy services in the ACT?

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, it is our judgment that we need to do both.

Quamby Youth Centre

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support. Minister, it was stated during estimates and reported in the Canberra Times on 1 June this year that the ACT government was in the final stage of negotiations to secure a new demountable building that would help separate accused from convicted inmates at Quamby and that the ACT would pay the Queensland government $1.6 million for the building. Can you inform the Assembly how this figure was arrived at for the purchase of a building that the Queensland government was going to demolish? Why was a more realistic peppercorn price not negotiated for that building from the Queensland government?

MS GALLAGHER: I will have to check the Hansard, but that is not an entirely correct reflection of the discussion we had at estimates. I said that we are in the final stages of negotiations for a demountable building coming from the Queensland government. In

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