Page 3375 - Week 08 - Thursday, 23 August 2012

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MR BARR: It is not required to, Mr Speaker.

Bimberi Youth Justice Centre—staff

MS HUNTER: My question is to the Minister for Community Services and it relates to staffing at the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre. Minister, can you advise whether all of the staffing levels at Bimberi are filled, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth liaison officer position?

MS BURCH: Whether all positions are filled, I know that the employment and retention rate at Bimberi has greatly improved over the last two years. There was some discussion around the Aboriginal liaison officer position, and that has really turned into a family connection position. It is my understanding that that function is filled, but I could come back to you with the details on that.

Certainly there is a strong connection, particularly when we have moved to single-case management and those other reforms that we have put in place, to make sure that young children are not only connected to outside services but connected back to the families and those other support services for the families that are required. But I will come back, whether it is within today’s question time but certainly by the time we rise, with that detail of our discussion.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary question.

MS HUNTER: Minister, are there any circumstances where staff are working in isolation with groups of young people at a ratio less than that recommended by the Human Rights Commission’s review?

MS BURCH: It is my understanding that the staffing arrangements are within the guidelines and the protocols for Bimberi. There is certainly a range of teams of units and certainly a number of team leader positions and supervisory positions, not only in the sense of supervising practice but supporting good practice as well. Those ratios have not changed. Different jurisdictions across the country have different ratios. I believe there was a proposition from the Human Rights Commission—and I am going back to some deep memory of that review—that it be different from what we currently have, but there has been no substantive change over the last two years with the ratios and the arrangements.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, can you guarantee that no Bimberi staff work alone when they are working in the unit, and especially at night?

MS BURCH: We have a very strong system of supporting staff over at Bimberi, and that is about allocating workers with a number of young residents in units there. We have also encouraged a stronger connection with a youth worker to individual

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