Page 4879 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 25 October 2011

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MS BURCH: the directorate did all that it could to provide safety and surety for those children. But I have no doubt that when the government response comes through Mrs Dunne and her others over there will go through it with a fine tooth comb and have more questions for me.

MR HANSON: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, what changes have been made to the standard procedures in the directorate to ensure that they are followed to their conclusion?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hanson for his question. The directorate has, as all human services have, a program of ongoing review, reflection and change to policies and procedures. Certainly the conversations I have had with the directorate, through the Director-General, show that I have an expectation that practical placement policies and procedures need to be regularly updated to ensure that they have contemporary practice—not only do they sit on a shelf but new staff are inducted to those practices so that all staff within the directorate know how to function under those policies and procedures.

MR DOSZPOT: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, will the advice that you seek from the Government Solicitor include an analysis of these standard procedures? If not, why not?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Doszpot for his question. The advice that we are seeking from the Government Solicitor is around the application of the law, any breach of the law and if it met the requirements under the Children and Young People Act. The Public Advocate has certainly made comment on that and we are working through the advice from the GSO.

Commissioner for the Environment

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development and is in regard to the role of the commissioner for the environment. Minister, in September you appointed a senior public servant with experience working for the government in the areas of environment protection, regulation and investigations, environment and water policy, water resources, heritage and nature conservation, and administration of urban tree and public place protection to the position of environment commissioner for a period of 5½ months. Minister, given that this is a temporary appointment and the acting environment commissioner will be returning to the public service, what confidence do you have that the acting commissioner is in a position to provide a fearless critique of the government’s environmental performance?

MR CORBELL: Complete confidence, Mr Speaker.

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