Page 1533 - Week 05 - Thursday, 11 April 2013

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that involved the closure of some of the drop-in centres, or the hours and operating style of drop-in centres, for youth around the city. We have moved through that. That change happened over the last year, and we are working with a range of service providers and indeed have a very clear focus on outreach. As I have said in this place, the bricks and mortar of youth drop-in are one part of the program, but certainly to go to where the children are and where the young people congregate is very much a key aspect of the changes we have made.

We have worked with the service providers since the implementation. In the 12 months of operation of the new service there has not been a great call to me about reopening those centres. You would also note, though, that in the election commitment we made a commitment of around $600,000 a year to go to youth support services. There are also very clear indicators about enhanced support services to youth within the parliamentary agreement.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, have you received any indication from youth service providers that they have seen an increase in the number of young people dropping in since the closure of some youth centres?

MS BURCH: I have not got the details of the numbers that have moved in and out over the last 12 months, but I will recall some of the youth drop-in centres had numbers of three in a week. It really did not make any sense for those services to continue to remain open, because clearly there were other programs that could have been more connective to young people in those areas.

As I have said, we have gone through a serious significant shift in this area. There have been problems, and I accept there were some problems with the implementation in the very early phases, but since we have worked through the first 12 months of operation there has been no comeback to me to say that there are significant and fundamental flaws. And when you have groups such as the PCYC delivering the programs they do for young people, and the strong outreach focus, I think it is hitting the mark and making a difference for young people.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, what strategy does the government have in place to ensure other youth service providers are able to cope with the increased demand for services and space?

MS BURCH: I think the changes that we have put in place were to give some flexibility to service providers. There were options to have a response to the needs of young people that were bigger and broader than a youth drop-in centre. That was a bricks and mortar approach—particular afternoons and particular hours. Certainly, young people do not necessarily operate to those modes of hours, which is why we put these new changes into place. It was also in recognition that there is more work to do. That is why we made a commitment in youth services to enhance that and that is

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