Page 3152 - Week 10 - Thursday, 15 August 2013
stallholders must be able to carry on with the business of preparing food and serving customers, and if the balance between government observation and commercial activity is not at the optimum level, presumably the risk is that some stallholders may not return. I am sure that the minister will assess over time if the balance is right, and I appreciate the very serious nature of these health concerns.
My other grave concern in the area of multicultural affairs is the ability of migrant women in particular to become fluent in English so that they can have access to the full benefits of the society which they have entered. Canberrans welcome new immigrants and refugees with open arms, but if they do not have the opportunity to interact in English they can become isolated from opportunities. I am aware that there are English programs delivered through CIT, and several other programs, but I would like to see more activity focused on the women who are falling through the cracks, who I have meet on many occasions whilst out in the community.
MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (4.39): I want to touch on the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre. Recently, through the education, training and youth affairs committee, I had the opportunity to visit the centre. Meeting with these young people who were working hard to get their lives back on track, I was proud to be part of the government that this year continued its commitment to help young people at Bimberi Youth Justice Centre.
This budget shows the government’s understanding of the transformative potential of education. It continues this government’s financial commitment to the Murrumbidgee education and training centre at Bimberi, in particular the staffing of this centre with great literacy and trades educators, and a commitment to providing the individual attention that young people in stressful environments need to make gains in the classroom. It also continues its commitment to the Bendora transition unit, which seeks to ensure that young people who have been incarcerated transition effectively back into their communities. Beyond the ongoing education projects that are undertaken, it focuses on skills training and supported planned leave from Bimberi in order to prepare them for life outside the centre.
Finally, this budget continues the strong interest of the ACT government in ensuring that they, as employers, provide the kinds of good working conditions that translate to commitment from our government employees and great results for the community. Bimberi has, through a dedicated recruitment strategy, increased staffing numbers to allow existing staff in this stressful environment to lower their leave owing and to allow all staff to know there is capacity to take the breaks and leave that are important in doing their jobs to their full capacity in this sometimes quite stressful environment.
Good budgets invest in the potential of our community. I am proud to be part of a government who sees potential in the young people at Bimberi.
MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (4.41): The portfolio of Community Services is overseeing a series of substantial changes in how the government supports the community sector and community facilities and assists Canberrans experiencing financial hardship.