Page 3211 - Week 10 - Thursday, 17 September 2015

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network runs as well as possible and that customers get the best possible service. We will work collaboratively with the Transport Workers Union. Ultimately we will need to go back to Fair Work Australia and indicate to them what we have been able to agree to.

Community services—roundtable

DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for Community Services. Minister, two weeks ago cabinet ministers met with a number of community members and organisations in the Woden area, including through a community services roundtable at the Woden Library. What were some of the key issues raised in these discussions?

MS BERRY: I thank Dr Bourke for the question. I would also like to take the chance to thank the local residents and community leaders who responded so positively through the events that the government held in Woden. As I said in question time yesterday, all our communities have great local champions, and Woden, Weston Creek and the Molonglo valley are no exception.

Through the community services roundtable the cabinet took a chance to discuss a number of local priorities such as local community facilities, support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and specific issues affecting seniors. On the issue of seniors, it was great to get positive feedback on the government’s flexible bus service from the Council on the Ageing. Designed specifically for residents such as older people and those with limited mobility, this free bus service operates on a basic timetable, picking up residents from home and taking them to local community facilities such as shopping centres and hospitals. The service is more than one simple trip from one point to another; it is a shared community service which offers a practical, inclusive option for people to get out to their appointments and their other commitments.

The discussion also included some very sobering comments around the challenges we face in providing culturally sensitive services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. It is fair to say that there is still much more work to be done in shaping our community services system in a way in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families feel confident and trusting of the services available. Yet the need is clearly there—for example, in the fact that around 25 per cent of children in out of home care in the ACT identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

The Aboriginal-run services at Winnunga Nimmityjah and Gugal Gulwan are often the first port of call for families seeking assistance and while this proves their great value in our community it can at the same time create pressure on those services. Under our agreement with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body, through a step up for kids and better services, we will continue to push to improve this situation, which is only possible by having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the table and in the field, both in the design and in the delivery of our service system.

Underscoring many of these issues is also the need to ensure adequate community facilities for those of all ages and backgrounds. Woden Library itself, where our

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