Page 2656 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 August 2015

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The Committee recommends that ACT Government provide the Legislative Assembly with details of what the continued Community Sector Reform Program levy will be spent on over the next two years including an outline of the cost-benefit ratio by the last sitting day in 2015.

Again, this recommendation was simply noted by the government rather than agreed to or agreed in principle. I find that quite concerning, and I am sure those in the community sector are probably a bit concerned, too, that they are not being given the detail of what the money is being spent on.

I want to talk about a step up for our kids. I am certainly not here to criticise this in any way; I am very much looking forward to the government’s new out of home care strategy, a step up for our kids, which will come into effect from January 2016. We have worked quite closely with Minister Gentleman on some of the legislative changes. It is starting in January; obviously we will be watching the implementation very closely. Certainly we all agree on the aspiration and desire to get a better result for vulnerable children. I hope that will be achieved through this new strategy.

On a very much related matter, I hope the new strategy will help to perhaps speed up adoption in the ACT. I hear from quite a number of constituents about their concerns about adoption and the length of time the adoption process can take.

The recommendation in the report regarding the strategy is recommendation 70, which states:

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government provide regular updates to the Legislative Assembly on the implementation of the Step Up for Our Kids strategy especially with relation to improving capacity and strengthening of high risk families.

I am very pleased the government has agreed to that recommendation, and Mr Gentleman referred to that earlier. Again, I am very much looking forward to those updates from Mr Gentleman.

In summary, I am a little disappointed that the government only noted and did not agree to two of the recommendations relating to the community sector reform program levy given the depth of concern that was expressed by community sector organisations during the estimates process. I am also looking forward to hearing much more about the implementation of a step up for our kids.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Justice, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Transport Reform) (9.00): I will speak about some issues earlier in the debate relating to sport and recreation, which, of course, are an important part of issues the Community Services Directorate is seeking to address in ensuring we have a strong community. The government continues to lead the delivery of sport and recreation policies and programs which contribute to the health and social wellbeing of the community. This includes targeted programs to support the ACT’s high levels of adult and child sport participation.

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