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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2010) . . Page.. 2162 ..

ACT Children’s Plan 2010-2014

Paper and statement by minister

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Women): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

ACT Children’s Plan 2010-2014.

I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MS BURCH: I am pleased to table for the information of members the ACT children’s plan 2010-2014. In releasing the ACT children’s plan, this government is committing to make Canberra a child and youth friendly city—a city that supports all children and young people to reach their potential, make a contribution and share the benefits of our community. In making this commitment, we are showing national leadership and setting the benchmark for the rest of Australia.

The Stanhope government previously has shown national leadership by enacting the first bill of rights in Australia. We will again show national leadership by being the first jurisdiction to officially commit to become child and youth friendly as part of putting into action the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In becoming a child friendly city, we need to put children’s best interests at the top of the agenda. Children are the most vulnerable members of our society, and they are our most valuable resource. We need to make sure that in everything we do we are enhancing rather than hindering the health and wellbeing of children. In taking on the challenge this plan presents, we can make Canberra an even greater and safer place for our children, a place where all children can reach their potential.

This plan refreshes the direction of the government’s original 10-year plan for children released in 2004. In revisiting the ACT children’s plan at its halfway point, we first looked at what has changed since the plan was launched in 2004. In particular, we reviewed the actions and programs the ACT government committed to undertake back in 2004 with their partners in the community sector.

Madam Assistant Speaker, I am proud to announce that we have delivered on these commitments. In fact, we have achieved far more than we originally committed to do. You will see in “Achievements—what has changed since 2004?” the range of programs, services and policy changes that have been implemented across government over time.

These achievements are significant and far reaching, particularly the whole-of-government projects that have been developed to meet the needs of specific groups of children. Some important examples include a specialised children and young people’s equipment loan service; the integrated multi-agencies for parents and

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