Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 August 2015) . . Page.. 2654 ..

Islander people by investing in focused early intervention services. The 2015-16 budget will provide $1.26 million over two years to expand the growing healthy families program at Gungahlin, west Belconnen and Tuggeranong child and family centres. Growing healthy families is a community development program delivered through the child and family centres. The program aims to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are supported to make choices that will support their children, young people and families. This additional funding will enable the three child and family centres to continue to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and community to deliver sustainable and equitable outcomes.I am also pleased to note that we are investing further in the Bendora through-care unit. The Bendora through-care unit provides intensive and targeted programs to assist young people in the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre with moving from custody back into the community. The through-care unit has been highly effective in improving educational and health outcomes for young people within Bimberi and in reducing reoffending and returns to custody. These are improvements that we are committed to continuing.

As you can see, Mr Assistant Speaker, the ACT government is committed to stepping up to support our most vulnerable children and young people and their families. As Minister for Children and Young People, I am looking forward to the changes ahead and to updating the Assembly in 2015-16 on the implementation of a step up for our kids and the new Child and Youth Protection Services.

While mentioning Bimberi, I want to make note of a couple of comments that Mr Wall made earlier in regard to issues involving contraband and other material that he asserts occurred at Bimberi. This involved an investigation that was done earlier regarding allegations of improper use of materials at Bimberi. I can assure the Assembly, as I have done before and at the estimates hearings, that a full investigation took place at Bimberi. Nothing was found, and all of those allegations were dealt with properly and appropriately by staff and the associated investigation agency. I want to congratulate the staff at Bimberi on the work that they do. It is very difficult work with our most vulnerable children and young people. They have my full support, even though they do not have the support of Mr Wall and the opposition in this case.

I am looking forward to the next year, and I will talk now about some other measures and initiatives that are also serving to address the ACT government’s commitment to investing in the people and social fabric of the ACT. We are committed to improving the life outcomes of all Canberrans regardless of age, culture or social circumstance, and to help people make the right lifestyle choices as well.

Within the ageing portfolio, for example, this government remains committed to programs and initiatives that support active and healthy ageing and to ensure that older Canberrans can keep their minds and bodies thoroughly engaged and active. The ACT government is working towards solutions that will address the issue of mature age employment. We are collaborating with a number of significant stakeholders to find innovative solutions that will address current problems in the context of mature age employment. This will provide new opportunities to increase the level of employment participation for older Canberrans.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video