Page 3919 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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MR SPEAKER: Is there a supplementary question?

DR FOSKEY: Given that in this case it patently did not work, does the ACT government have any plans in place to ensure that the commissioner for housing actively considers the ACT Human Rights Act and the relevant United Nations covenants and declarations in carrying out his or her duties, most particularly the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child?

MS GALLAGHER: Again, speaking from the point of view of the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support, which is where the responsibility for children in the care of the territory sits, I can say that all of that legislation and the conventions direct and support decision making. I do not accept that the eviction of a family necessarily was the cause of the ultimate tragedy in that family’s circumstances. As Dr Foskey would know, many of the families for which there are joint responsibilities through Housing or Children, Youth and Family Support are in extremely complex situations and there are a whole range of reasons why those families are in need.

As a government, we can only do so much. I have never sat here and said that the government can provide all the answers and all the support to these very complex families, but we do our best. We rely on the community to support us. In the years during which I have been proud to be the minister with responsibility for the Department of Disability and Community Services and, within that, the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support, their commitment to children and upholding the rights, interests and wellbeing of children has been paramount.

Gas-fired power station

MR PRATT: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, on 4 August, in answer to a question taken on notice concerning the agreement with ActewAGL for the sale of land in Tuggeranong, you said:

There is no specific condition that the gas generators have the capacity to provide a back-up power generation source for the ACT.

Chief Minister, how is this consistent with the lease clauses attached to successive versions of the deed of option which state, at clause 3 (e) (ii), that the premises are to include a surplus supply of electricity at all times? I say again “at all times” and “surplus”.

MR STANHOPE: I do not have the lease agreement with me. I will take the question on notice.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Pratt.

MR PRATT: Chief Minister, while you are following up on the question—perhaps you could answer this question now; otherwise, you might want to take this as a supplementary too—was lease clause 3 (e) for Tuggeranong block 167.1 varied to remove the requirement, and will you table documents, before this Assembly rises, to prove that point?

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