Page 57 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 25 February 2014

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MS BURCH: There was no decision to bypass the process. I just made a decision for a different process than what was applied for 2013. It is not a bypass of any process; it was for the latter part of last year when the commitment was made. We made an election commitment to deliver the fringe. This delivered the fringe.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, why, when an expression of interest had been conducted to appoint the directors in 2013, was this process not followed in appointing the director for 2014?

MS BURCH: I think you or your colleagues have answered that. Indeed, there were different streams—one had an accepted, traditional method of expressions of interest; one was at ministerial discretion. If that is too complex for you, I apologise.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, what criteria did you use to select the creative director for the 2014 Fringe Festival?

MS BURCH: One with a history of delivering a fringe in town. I would have thought that the man who brought that to this city originally back in the mid-2000s was an appropriate selection.

Children and young people—care and protection

MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Children and Young People. Minister, the 2014 report on government services was released in January. It showed that the ACT government spends less on child protection than most other jurisdictions with worse outcomes. Minister, why are we not investing the funds we need in this important area?

MS BURCH: On the matter of care and protection, the ROGS shows our investment, but I do not think it covers the whole-of-government investment that we put into this area; nor does it reflect the budgets over the last couple of years where we have invested significant moneys in care and protection. It has gone through major reviews, and we have responded accordingly to that with relevant investment. I refer to the integrated management system to improve record keeping, and the trauma centre that has been established, because we know that trauma associated with kids in care and protection and out-of-home care is significant and affects their long-term outcomes in employment and education opportunities. So we have done what we needed to do but there is always more to do. The development of the out-of-home care strategy that will be released soon will articulate our views.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Minister, is light rail a higher priority for funds than Care and Protection Services for this government?

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