Page 3159 - Week 10 - Thursday, 15 August 2013

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supported women in recent years. I am happy that $100,000 has been allocated from the 2013-14 budget to extend the program to services for other community groups such as multicultural Canberrans and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

I note Mrs Jones’s comment. It is not the first time she has raised that. She has picked up that there are other groups such as stay-at-home dads that may also have an interest in that type of opportunity. There is further support through the additional funding of $12,000 a year over four years for the interpreter scholarship. This will allow us to train interpreters to meet the language service needs of refugees and asylum seekers that make up our new and emerging communities and represent often our most vulnerable clients.

It is pleasing to see the impact that funding groups such as our community language school has on the wider community. The additional funding of $25,000 in the budget will help those communities generate larger participation and build on their networks.

There was also a comment about the multicultural festival. There is some additional budget for this. Whilst the festival has been going for many years, it remains an evolving concept. Certainly I think that this year, as we celebrate our centenary, it had the largest footprint ever. We will continue to work with the community participants. It is a local community organisation. There has often been a little commentary: is this an arts group, is it for commercial providers? My absolute commitment is that it is for local community organisations. They see it as the largest fundraiser opportunity. That is a presence that I want to see across half a dozen or so stages. It is what draws our community in, because it is indeed absolutely our community.

In conclusion, I refer briefly to the estimates report. It is very pleasing to see that there are no recommendations in there across some of these most vulnerable areas, such as youth, such as care and protection, such as out-of-home care. I think that shows the fantastic work that the directorate is doing. I want to offer my regards to all of those that work across the Community Service Directorate. They do hold our community together. They do provide support to our most vulnerable. I take my hat off to them for the work they do each and every day.

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (5.05): I am going to speak very briefly about the CHANCES program. Last year I had the opportunity to visit a session of the CHANCES program. It was a joy to see. Children were learning with homework, doing their homework and being minded whilst their parents were undertaking further training that was going to lead to employment. These were people who had not been employed ever in their lives for reasons of child-rearing, incarceration or disengagement from society due to drug and alcohol issues.

Then I got to go to a couple of the graduation ceremonies and see the pride of the individuals, their families, and the children who saw that these people had achieved a particular target, a particular goal in life. It has been successful. We are seeing some results with these people who are going on to take up employment. I commend this program to the Assembly and I congratulate the government for funding it for the next four years.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

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