Page 285 - Week 01 - Thursday, 17 February 2011

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MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, what procedures are in place relating to responses to and reporting of activated personal duress alarms at Bimberi?

MS BURCH: As I indicated yesterday, there are policies and protocols in place. What I am beginning to get from a thread from over there is that perhaps there is a question about how they are implemented and supervised in many ways.

Duress alarms are an important piece of equipment and a tool for the youth workers and MSS staff out there. They are to ensure their safety and the safety of their colleagues. They need to be regularly checked, and everyone who goes into that facility should be aware of the policies and procedures that surround them.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, a supplementary question?

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, is it the case, as we have been informed, that equipment belts issued to workers do not hold personal duress alarms securely enough and that workers have resorted to putting them in their pockets, therefore making them less accessible in an emergency? If yes, what are you doing to rectify the problem?

MS BURCH: I will take that on advice, Mr Speaker.

Youth and family services program—tender process

MS HUNTER: My question is to the Minister for Children and Young People. My question is in relation to the tender process for the youth services program-family services program. Minister, many community sector agency workers rearranged or cancelled leave over Christmas as they were informed that the tender documents would be available from 15 January 2011. Minister, why was the release of the tender documents delayed until 29 January 2011?

MS BURCH: I think you are referring to a two-week delay in the tender documents. It is my understanding that there were internal administrative processes that led to that delay. It is unfortunate, but I understand that throughout this process the sector has been informed about the nature of the tender—certainly, the scope of the work. It is unfortunate, and if Ms Hunter would like the detail of that I am happy to take some advice on notice. But the tenders are out now. This is the end of a nearly 18-month conversation in the reform of the youth and children’s services program.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary?

MS HUNTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what evidence base can you provide for justification of the reforms, particularly to the youth services sector?

MS BURCH: I think the evidence base was articulated in background briefings, in conversations. As I said, this has been an 18-month dialogue with the sector. There

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