Page 102 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 9 December 2008

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Our community demands and expects the very best when it comes to the delivery of government services. No government can ever say that it has done as much as can be done or that things are as good as they can get. A city evolves, a community evolves; technology changes as, profoundly, world events touch us deeply or lightly. There is always something new to consider or try or debate.

Over the course of this term the Assembly will have a new source of advice and ideas in the form of the new Indigenous elected body. Over the next 12 months the government will develop a service delivery framework for Indigenous services in consultation with this elected body.

And over the course of the term I am determined to see this community narrow the gaps in achievement and opportunity that still yawn between us and so many Indigenous Canberrans. Among our first investments will be a new program to support Indigenous grandparents who are primary carers of their grandchildren and a genealogy project that will see the formal creation of genealogies for local traditional family groups. And we will embark on a drive to increase the number of Indigenous teachers and teachers assistants in our schools.

Four years sounds like a long time but it passes in a blur of activity. Today I pledge that by 2012 Canberrans, looking back over this term, will see change for the better and not just change for the better but change for the future.

Mr Seselja: I would ask the minister to move that the paper be noted.

MR STANHOPE: Certainly. Thank you. I present the following paper:

Portfolio responsibilities—Ministerial statement, 9 December 2008.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (4.22): I want to say a few words in response. Of course, we have had only a couple of minutes to look at what is in the speech. We can see now why the government did not want to tell us what was in there, because the generic descriptor of “portfolio responsibilities” did not exactly capture the flavour of the speech, I suppose. It sounded to me a little bit more like a campaign speech. It sounded to me like a highly politicised speech, not a simple—as we would expect from a ministerial statement—statement of portfolio responsibilities, which was the information we were given prior to this time.

I think it highlights the point I made earlier about the need to get some procedures in place for ministerial statements. I can see why there was reticence. I can see why Mr Corbell and Mr Stanhope would not have wanted to tell us what was in this speech. It was a campaign speech, and in that respect it is worth going through some of the highlights package and just giving a brief response.

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