Page 1534 - Week 05 - Thursday, 11 April 2013
why we have enhanced that again through the parliamentary agreement. That is in stark contrast, indeed, to what you or any of your party put forward to the community about supporting young people.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.
MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, how important is it for the government to support programs or opportunities such as Youth Homelessness Matters Day?
MADAM SPEAKER: Sorry, could you repeat the question, Mr Gentleman?
MR GENTLEMAN: The question was: how important is it for the government to support opportunities such as Youth Homelessness Matters Day? The focus of the question is on youth.
Mr Wall: A point of order on relevance, Madam Speaker, the original question related to youth drop-in services.
MADAM SPEAKER: That is what I was thinking. It is a pretty tenuous link, but I think I will go with the youth on this occasion. I rule the question in order. Minister Burch.
MS BURCH: I thank Mr Gentleman for his question. Of course, as Mr Wall has recognised earlier in an adjournment debate, it is Youth Week this week, and I recognise that Mr Wall is also a youth homelessness matters ambassador. Well done to you, Mr Wall, for stepping up and taking on that role.
It is important that we support our youth across the city. It is important that we not only celebrate during Youth Week but also recognise that youth have a role in our future—indeed, they are our future. The youth of Canberra today will be those sitting in here in the decades and years to come. So it is important that we support youth in their ambitions and provide services for those who are at risk but also for those who aspire to be high achievers in academia, in sport and in other fields.
But in regard to youth homelessness matters, it is important we support that because it is with a level of sadness for me personally and certainly as a member of our community that homelessness exists in Canberra, as it exists in every other city in this country. It is important that we work with the housing providers, the homelessness services and groups such as the Youth Coalition to raise awareness of youth homelessness and to make sure we do not take our eye off the ball and we do all we can on such matters.
MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Economic Development. Minister, the half-yearly update noted that Canberra BusinessPoint’s one-to-many advisory services had decreased by 66.2 per cent. However, officials in your directorate, upon being advised of the source of this figure, commented: