Page 4531 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 18 October 2011

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MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what have you done to satisfy yourself that retribution was not the driving factor in suspending the NGO’s services?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Doszpot for his questions. I looked at the material that was in front of me around the reasons why the service was suspended and they were such that certainly action needed to be taken. As to whether there is ongoing retribution, the Community Services Directorate, following my meeting with the agency at which, as I have said, the director-general was present, has worked consistently and carefully to the point that they now have been reinstated to provide that transport and supervision service. That is not an act of retribution, that is an act of cooperation and support.

MR HANSON: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, what have you done in response to the Public Advocate’s recommendation that over $400,000 owed by your directorate to the NGO be paid immediately?

MS BURCH: The information in front of me is that the figure is not right, because there has been a payment made of $100,000. I am aware that there are, as I said, moneys left to be paid, and I have instructed the department to resolve that as a matter of urgency. I do not know how many more times I can say that here in this place.

MRS DUNNE: Supplementary question.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, what have you done to review the time limits of payments to other NGOs that are engaged by your directorate?

MS BURCH: I thank Mrs Dunne for her question and I know that she has gone on public record and cited that a significant number of community organisations are about to withdraw services from the community directorate from late payment.

I have asked for some outstanding payments and I have in front of me moneys owing up to a 90-day period—that is from a 30-day to a 90-day period—of $94,000-odd, under $95,000, to 82 organisations. That is not indicative of a community service sector that is out there and about to withdraw its services due to want of payment.

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, under the standing orders would the minister please table the document she just quoted from.

MR SPEAKER: You need to move a motion, Mr Smyth.

Mr Smyth: I move:

That the Minister for Community Services table the document she was quoting from.

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