Page 4744 - Week 11 - Thursday, 20 October 2011

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MS GALLAGHER: The government has handled this issue appropriately, Mr Coe. The government—and I am talking about the executive government at this point—when an issue was identified sought to respond appropriately. I have also additionally spoken to the directorate and let them know where I believe there have been deficiencies in the information they have provided to the executive and in addition, and the minister has done this as well over her time as a minister, about areas where improvements need to be made to the system to ensure that the system provides the best care it possibly can to children and young people and their families in need of care and protection in the ACT.

I have said a number of times in this place that it is with enormous regret that there are children and young families who may not have been provided with the service or the standard of service that they should have received from their interactions with the care and protection system. That is extremely regrettable and it needs to be improved. I have said that a number of times. The minister has said that. The director-general is fully aware of our concerns and is working with his staff in areas where they need to improve.

But at the same time let us not underestimate the job that that directorate handles on a day-to-day basis. They do some excellent work. It is a human service department. Human service departments are hard and complex and they are often dealing with very traumatic situations. The government has full confidence in that directorate to do their job properly but we also acknowledge that where problems are identified they need to respond. The directorate knows that. They are responding but I would like to say that they do a very good job for hundreds of families. (Time expired.)

Planning—draft strategy

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. Minister, you released a draft ACT planning strategy on Monday for community comment. How will the planning strategy help in achieving the government’s goals of a more sustainable city and adapt to the challenges of climate change and population growth?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Hargreaves for his question. The draft ACT planning strategy was released for public comment earlier this week and I am very pleased to see the broad level of endorsement that the strategy has received. We have seen endorsement from the Heart Foundation; indeed, even from the Property Council. We have also seen positive comments from other members in this place, for which I thank members.

The strategy is about providing a clear framework for a more sustainable pattern of development and settlement for the city between now and 2030. In particular, it is focused on providing more opportunities for people to live close to where they work, for people to live in a diversity of housing types, to recognise that the suburban environment is highly valued in our city and that we need to seek to maintain the wonderful garden city characteristics of our suburban environment but at the same time provide opportunities for more urban environments close to public transport centres, around centres, around town centres, around places such as Civic.

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