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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 26 August 2010) . . Page.. 4049 ..

MS BURCH: I do not have a definite number for the number of tenders that came in, whether they were components of it or for the whole lot. I do know that it went through an independent, rigorous process of assessment and one component was allocated to Marymead. I congratulate them and I am looking forward to them working with the kinship sector.

On the other two streams, yes, I am disappointed that there was not an awarded tender. It is not my role to award those tenders. That is what the procurement process is about. But in the meantime we are talking with Marymead and other providers within the out-of-home care sector, including the kinship carers, about how we best move forward now and get those things in line. In the meantime, we continue to work with the kinship carers in particular. I understand that, last week, this week or next week, in a very short period of time, a number of them and their families have been supported through this line of funding to attend a conference in Tasmania, at their request. They saw that as a priority, and we were able to support them.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Dunne?

MRS DUNNE: Minister, what assessment has been made of the tender process and whether it was appropriately targeted, particularly in relation to the provision of the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the grandparent and kinship arena?

MS BURCH: The procurement process was an open tender, so I do not quite know how you target an open tender; it is for everybody to tender. As to the scoping work that was behind the tender requirements, it is my understanding that that was built up through the department in discussion with a number of providers in the sector, including the kinship carers. So that was a robust process to make sure that the requirements and the scope of the procurement was done in consultation to reflect the needs of the sector, and it was an open tender.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, A supplementary question?

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. My supplementary question to the minister is: given Marymead’s history of looking after the most devastated children that this community has ever produced, do you have confidence that they can actually deliver on the tender? Would you like to invite the opposition to join you in expressing that confidence in Marymead?

MR SPEAKER: Just stick to the first half of the question, thank you, Minister Burch.

MS BURCH: It is tempting to go to the second one, Mr Speaker, but I will take your advice. I absolutely support Marymead winning this tender. Indeed, I have met with Marymead since they have been awarded this tender and provided my congratulations to them in person. I have expressed my keenness for me and the department to work with them.

I also congratulated them on the other work that they do across foster carers, kinship carers, the various groups that they facilitate and the peer networking that they allow

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