Page 1365 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 5 April 2011

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being undertaken. Of course, the entertainment was provided by young people, and a very talented bunch they were too. We started with the Campbell high school band; there was also some dance and I know many other acts during the night. It is fantastic to see such talent amongst our young people here in the ACT.

It is great to see such engagement and it is also wonderful to see the spread of youth services that we have across the territory. This is a resource that we should be valuing, and we should be going out there this week. Hopefully, many of us will have the opportunity to visit our local youth service or participate in one of the many activities that will be on the Youth Week calendar of events this week.

I guess it is also time to focus on what our youth services provide to our community. I did raise some questions about this with the minister in question time today. I am becoming increasingly concerned about what is happening to the landscape of youth service delivery here in the ACT. We have had the development of a new framework, what was called a realignment of youth and family services, and this process has been going on for around 12 to 18 months but it has not engaged with all youth services or family services. It has engaged with some, in the initial part, particularly in the first 12 months. But many of the services really did not see any detail until a draft framework was released in September last year.

Then they were asked to provide feedback and comments, but they were also told, “Well, of course we would like your feedback and your comments but we’re not really going to change the framework, so they probably will not make much difference.” Sure enough, that feedback did not really get incorporated, or very little of it did, and so the framework was pretty much a fait accompli. A lot of services are feeling that they have not been part of this conversation and this realignment.

Then we move on to the tenders, and it was announced that the tenders would be released in the middle of January this year. So services raced around to rejig their services and make sure they had the right staff on to be able to write these tenders. This was in the middle of the holiday period, so they had to reassess things so that they could still run their holiday programs, or whatever activities they were doing, while writing quite a major tender. They did all of that, only to be stood up—the department did not release the tender specs; it released them two weeks later.

It makes me cross, when we have rhetoric around the importance of community services in this town—how government partners with them, the respect they have for them, how they could not do what they did without the community sector out there. Well, that is not the way you treat partners that you are supposed to respect. So the tenders came two weeks late and then there was six weeks. It was only when the tender specifications came out that finally people saw what it was they needed to tender for. So there was frantic activity while organisations raced around putting together partnerships and tenders from scratch. This is just not the way to realign. This is not the way to move forward and adopt reform. I think that it is a very poor way to do it.

We have had services who have been out there delivering for years and years and they have been delivering high quality services. They have been delivering services to

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