Page 44 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 14 February 2012

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MS GALLAGHER: I am not responsible for the board of directors of the Canberra Labor Club. That is a question that you will need to put to them. I understand a complaint has been made. It will be looked at by the Electoral Commissioner, which is the appropriate place for it.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Chief Minister, what advice did you seek before you became involved in the consideration of this transaction?

MS GALLAGHER: I was not involved in this transaction.

Children and young people—care and protection

MS HUNTER: My question is to the Minister for Community Services and relates to expenditure on child protection as reported in the recent ROGS data. Minister, can you advise why the total expenditure per notification in the ACT was the lowest recorded in Australia at $871 compared to other jurisdictions that ranged from $1,834 to $13,634 per notification?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Hunter for her question. If you look at the ROGS report on care and protection and also look at the annual report broadly across out-of-home care services you will see that indeed our expenditure across care and protection and out-of-home care has increased over this year. I think there is close on a six per cent increase in the 12 months. That is held in the annual report.

Yes, the ROGS is showing some set of data. But if you look at it in parallel with the annual report you will clearly see that this government is committed to expenditure into and support of the care and protection and out-of-home care system.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary.

MS HUNTER: Minister, why is it that the ACT has the highest rates of unsubstantiated reports that are later substantiated—that is, 24.2 per cent? Is this because the initial investigation is inadequate?

MS BURCH: I have a high regard for the care and protection workers that work in the Community Services Directorate. I, for one, would not say that any of their work is inadequate. I think that, as people go out to investigate reports, there are a range of options open to them. Certainly, early intervention and diversion away from putting a child in out-of-home care would be at the forefront of their minds. So whilst it is the highest, I would also draw to your attention that it has reduced significantly over the last 12 months.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

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