Page 3069 - Week 08 - Thursday, 25 June 2009

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right hand is doing. The minister for disability, Mr Hargreaves, was completely unaware of the relocation of the independent living centre, the ILC. Although managed by ACT Health, the ILC is a centre which is directly associated with the minister’s portfolio responsibilities in the disability area and, importantly, it provides an integral service to people with a disability in the ACT. I strongly support the estimates committee’s recommendation No 111 that ACT Health conduct a full consultation process with users of the equipment loan service and the independent living centre to determine the best location before this relocation occurs.

I turn to multicultural affairs. As one would expect, the Multicultural Festival dominates this line item in the budget papers. Again, we see a need for better evaluation and monitoring processes when it comes to the festival. The estimates committee recommendation 112 goes to the heart of this by calling for a full annual report measuring the success of the festival. I would also like to see the minister provide a list of the tenancies currently occupying the Theo Notaras centre—something he undertook to do during the estimates hearing, and which I have not yet received at this point. The initial intention of the building was to provide as much community space as possible, and it would be good to see that this is currently the case.

One of the most frustrating things I have found with my first interaction with the ACT government’s budget papers is the limited accountability indicators and the lack of information relating to the smaller line items. I would like to see some attention paid to this in future budget papers.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (9.17): I wish to speak about recommendation 120, in volume 2 of the report. The recommendation reads:

The Committee recommends that the Minister for Children and Young People, Mr Andrew Barr MLA, reports all security breaches at the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre to the Assembly quarterly.

Not surprisingly, the government did not agree to this recommendation. I think this recommendation is extremely important, as the safety and security of youth detainees are absolutely vital for their rehabilitation. If we are not aware of issues that are taking place at the centre with regard to their safety and security then it is very hard for us to hold the government to account. I am very scared that that is what this is all about—that it is actually about pre-emptive political damage control as opposed to the best interests of the actual detainees, the kids or young people that we are actually trying to rehabilitate.

The government says that robust reporting requirements are in place. However, if the reports do not actually see the light of the day then it does not really mean a great deal. In fact, if the reporting was robust it would not have been a surprise to Assembly members when it turned out that there had been an issue—a fairly significant issue, I would think—at the centre that we only found out about through the estimates process.

In fact, I asked the minister, Mr Barr, whether there had been any problems or breaches at Bimberi, and he said no. It was only when we pressed him on this issue

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