Page 1806 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 4 May 2011

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Minister, if no comprehensive records were kept until the end of 2010, how confident are you in your earlier answer that duress alarms are issued to all operational staff?

MS BURCH: My advice in relation to the first question is that the policy is that duress alarms are issued to all staff. On the follow-up question, and I know the question that Mrs Dunne is referring to, the department has clarified that, with unfortunately poor record keeping, the confirmation of that being an actuality each and every day was not there. The advice now to me is that, on the return from holiday leave, they can confirm that the duress alarm was issued to that woodwork teacher.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, a supplementary?

MRS DUNNE: Yes, Mr Speaker. Minister, did you mislead the Assembly when you started that duress alarms are issued to all operational staff when the assertion was not supported by comprehensive records and, if so, will you now correct the record and apologise to the Assembly?

MS BURCH: No, I do not believe I misled the Assembly. I provided an answer that I gave in good faith on the advice that was available to me at the time.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Seselja?

MR SESELJA: Minister, if the woodwork trainer was not issued with a personal duress alarm until 3 February 2011, how many other operational staff were not issued with alarms until after comprehensive record keeping was implemented?

MS BURCH: Now that we have comprehensive, accurate record keeping in place, a track of that will be able to be recorded.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary?

MR SESELJA: Minister, even allowing for the Easter break, why did it take until 2 May 2011 for your answer to the 10 March 2011 question, which you signed on 21 April, to travel down two floors to the Secretariat?

MS BURCH: I do not have an absolute answer for that. There was a holiday break—if the staff were not in my office. I am quite happy to go back to my office and ensure that in future answers are expedited from my office down to the Secretariat.

Low income households—assistance

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water. Minister, in yesterday’s 2011-12 budget there was a range of measures to help low income households in Canberra to manage the rising cost of living. Minister, could you please outline to the Assembly some of these measures.

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for the question because the government has announced a very extensive range of measures in the budget yesterday to support low

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