Page 3240 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

MR SESELJA: Minister, when did the meetings with the Giralang residents and the proponents referred to in your first answer to Mr Coe’s question occur?

MR BARR: I can recall at least three or four meetings over the course of my time as Minister for Planning. I am happy—I am not sure that I will have all of those dates available as I am not sure how far back in the records my electronic diary goes. But I can certainly advise members of the Assembly that I met on a number of occasions with a variety of representatives from the Giralang community—the Giralang Residents Association and a number of other individuals—in relation to their desire to see their local shops restored.

Bimberi Youth Justice Centre—staff

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for children and young people. I refer to the ACT Youth Justice System 2011: A Report to the Legislative Assembly by the ACT Human Rights Commission. The report mentions that in 2009 the Community Services Directorate commissioned Oakton consultants to conduct an audit of Bimberi operations and financial performance. The Human Rights Commission report quoted from the Oakton report saying:

‘DHCS does not have sufficient funds allocated for the ongoing operations of Bimberi, particularly if there is a significant increase in resident numbers. Currently Bimberi does not have sufficient permanent and casual staff to deal with a sudden surge in resident numbers that would require Bimberi to operate at full capacity.’

Further, a submission to the Human Rights Commission inquiry and quoted in the report says:

‘There is absolutely no money to do anything. There is a high turnover of case managers. We don’t know from month to month what the case load will be like, can’t predict what the court will do, or whose cases you have to take on.

Minister, after $1.7 million was allocated from July 2010, why was there a continual staffing crisis at Bimberi?

MS BURCH: I thank Mrs Dunne for her question. She is right on one point: Bimberi is not the controller of numbers that come through. Those matters are matters for the Magistrates Court. There is no way that we can predict any movement of numbers. Historically, when Bimberi was opened there was, I think, an average of a dozen young people in residence. That has moved up to an average now of 20. There was a period last year when there were record numbers of around 30.

On the comments that the Oakton report recommended there were not enough funds, funds were transferred—I think $5.8 million from Quamby. That was the funding that moved over. I think there was a $700,000 cash component to support the transfer. In the first budget there was an additional $1.7 million. In this budget there was $1.8 million. We have, in budgets since Bimberi has been operational, increased the operational budget and increased the number of youth workers and, indeed, workers

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video