Page 2924 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 13 August 2013
MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (8.02): I want to highlight two items within this output class. The first is the proposed expenditure to fund the recommendations of the getting them home safely report, including 12 additional work safety inspectors. This will have a significant impact on working Canberrans across a range of industries, especially those that require workers to work in potentially dangerous or intensive sectors. There have been too many tragic incidents on construction sites, and I am very pleased to see that WorkSafe ACT will be receiving a much-needed boost to look after working people in this town.
The second appropriation that will also make life easier for Canberrans doing it tough is the provision for those who might be struggling to pay back motor vehicle infringements. Getting a traffic fine happens to many of us and, whilst we do not like it, we do our civic duty and pay our infringements quickly if we can. For some, however, receiving an infringement can put significant pressure on the family budget.
Recently at the Dunlop shops I was chatting to a neighbour of mine who has been without a licence for some time. She is a single mum who is raising three teenage boys, two of whom are at an age where they are starting to learn to drive. Because she has no licence, she is unable to help them with lessons, and this has put not just an emotional but financial strain on the family budget, having to scrape together a significant amount of money to pay for the private lessons that are required. Fortunately for her, the commitment to provide more flexible arrangements for managing motor vehicle infringements budgeted for in this appropriation will allow her to manage her repayments and see her able to get her licence back in a more timely manner and help her sons to learn this important life skill. I am happy to speak in favour of these budget allocations for the Justice and Community Safety Directorate.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (8.04): This year’s budget provides just over $420 million in recurrent expenditure and nearly $44 million in capital expenditure to the Justice and Community Safety Directorate. I will speak this evening about a number of important initiatives which are being funded as a result of this Labor budget.
The first is funding of just over $1 million to provide rental accommodation for the community legal centres hub for the Welfare Rights and Legal Centre, the Women’s Legal Centre and the Tenants Union. This funding will assist those organisations in the development of a purpose-built hub which will share a range of facilities and services and create significant synergies in those groups working together as they provide the vital service of community legal advice, often to those who are on lower incomes.
There is also just over $1.5 million to expand the appointment of official visitors to protect vulnerable people in open environments, particularly people with disability and those at risk of homelessness, as well as the appointment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander official visitors.