Page 742 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 26 February 2013

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MRS JONES: What ongoing consultations, minister, have been undertaken with surrounding property owners during this process?

MS GALLAGHER: Lots, over years.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, could you tell us what benefits will accrue when the Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm is up and operational?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Dr Bourke for the question. The hope is that the service, once established, will be run in the first stages by Health. But it is the desire of the service to provide an alternative healing service with a connection to country for Indigenous people to come together and care for each other while they are going through treatment and counselling for substance abuse issues.

My hope in the end is that it will be an Indigenous controlled organisation. In the early days the Health Directorate will provide the support and services to the people who go and stay there. I think the work that has been done to try to find the appropriate location with the right connection to country has been at the centre of this project.

That has not come easily. So the glib interjections from across the chamber are, “When is it going to be done? When is it going to be opened?” I know you are probably unlikely to ever sit on this bench and actually deal with a project and to actually see it through to completion and, when hurdles come in the way, find ways of getting over those hurdles and look at ways of dealing with them.

My hope is that this project, once it is established, will have the unanimous support of the community and that it will provide an alternative service that we do not have at this point in time to deal with the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who endure alcohol and drug addiction. They are more culturally, appropriately and respectfully treated in a service that they have designed and that they have had input to from day one, and one where their elders have a connection to that land. That is the important part of this. (Time expired.)

Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate—financial statements

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. The Auditor-General’s report on the 2011-12 financial audit of the directorate states:

The Audit Office issued a qualified audit report on the Directorate’s 2011-12 financial statements because the Directorate did not record all revenue …

The audit report states that the fees owed cannot be collected in a timely manner because the directorate’s business systems do not have the information required.

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