Page 1662 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 1 April 2009

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I am going to draw a line in the sand here and say that I have had enough of this sort of politics from Mrs Dunne where race becomes the issue. This is about the best care and protection workers for kids in the ACT. That is what it is about. That is what it will always be about. That is this government’s priority: the best workers to assist our vulnerable kids. And that should be the goal of all in this place. There was a bipartisan consensus on this until about a week ago, and it is very disappointing that they have taken this approach.

Children—care and protection

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Children and Young People. Minister, there are a number of immigration rules relating to foreigners coming to work in Australia. Minister, what process did the government follow to ensure that it complied with all Australian immigration rules in relation to the British staff that were recruited to the childcare and protection agency?

MR BARR: My advice from the department is that they followed all the relevant policies and procedures.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a supplementary question?

MR SMYTH: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, will you guarantee to the Assembly and to the people of Canberra that the government followed Australian immigration rules to the letter?

MR BARR: Mr Speaker, I answered that question previously.

Planning—Deakin swimming pool

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for Planning, the minister whose previous response to Mrs Dunne borders on racism. Minister, in statements in the Assembly last week in response to my questions regarding the closure of the Deakin pool you indicated that there were issues with taking some form of performance guarantees to ensure that the developer and owner of the Deakin pool site would make good on his refurbishment obligations. Minister, why was a performance guarantee in return for the approval to redevelop the site impossible in this case?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Doszpot for the question. Mr Doszpot would do well again to understand the nature of the territory plan variation that occurred in 2005 that extended a range of development rights to the owner of that facility. Mr Doszpot would do well to understand that the owner of that facility has not taken up all of those development rights and, therefore, has not triggered the additional provisions that were put in that territory plan variation that required the pool to be upgraded.

The owner of the facility has been given, granted by this parliament, the right to extend considerably for office development on that site and he has not taken that up.

Mr Doszpot: The minister is not answering the question. My question related to the minister’s refusal to accept the committee’s recommendation, not the territory plan aspects of it.

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