Page 619 - Week 02 - Thursday, 18 February 2016

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DR BOURKE: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I feel sure that appropriate due diligence checks would have been undertaken during this process, which occurred before I became minister, as Ms Lawder will note. However, I am happy to arrange a further briefing for you on that process so that you can be fully apprised of the actual processes involved.

Ms Lawder: On a point of order, Madam Speaker, my question, again, was not about having a briefing. I would prefer the minister to take the question on notice if he does not know the answer today.

Members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Barr and Mr Hanson! Unfortunately I cannot direct the minister to answer a question in a particular way; the standing orders do not allow that. That is all I can say on the point of order, I am sorry; there is nothing more to be added. Do you have a supplementary question, Ms Lawder?

MS LAWDER: I do, thank you, Madam Speaker. Minister, what actions, if any, did the ACT government take when allegations surfaced that Premier Youth Works had underpaid its staff?

Mrs Jones: Take it on notice.

DR BOURKE: I thank Ms Lawder for her question. Yes, I will have to take that on notice. As previously noted, I was not minister at the time so I was not across that portfolio area at the particular time of that occurrence.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, how will an organisation found to have underpaid its staff be in the best position to manage vulnerable children and young people, including managing risks relating to child safety and wellbeing in care placements?

DR BOURKE: As I said in my previous answer, there was a strong and rigorous evaluation by the panel with expertise in areas such as child protection services, therapeutic assessments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services. These are the very issues that these organisations will be delivering. I am told that the opposition was thoroughly briefed on the processes involved in this tender. If that is not the case, then I would be happy to provide further briefing as needed.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, how can the ACT government be claiming to be concerned about fair pay when vulnerable people such as children and young people in out of home care are being looked after by an organisation alleged to have underpaid their staff?

DR BOURKE: As I said, these are allegations which presumably were assessed as part of the process. I will find out more and I will come back and tell the house.

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