Page 3351 - Week 09 - Thursday, 24 August 2017

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MS LE COUTEUR: How did the government seek applications for the Floriade Fringe? In particular, how did the government consult with the arts sector on this event; how was it advertised; how many applications were received; and why did it not follow the standard tender process?

MR BARR: In relation to the Floriade Fringe, this is a new initiative of my government. I committed to trialling a fringe event for Floriade for 2017 as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations. Due to the tight time frames between the re-election of the government in November last year and the need to have a fringe event ready in the context of Floriade 2017, there was some compression of time frames.

There was a public call for a content director for the event. I understand that that process has concluded and there will be further announcements made in relation to the Floriade Fringe in due course.

MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister, how else will this year’s Floriade festival appeal to a new generation of visitors as well as older generations?

MR BARR: Our research into Floriade has demonstrated that it has a broad appeal across a wide variety of different demographic groups. It would be fair to say that the NightFest component has a greater interest amongst a younger demographic whereas the daytime events are particularly popular with both a very young demographic and our seniors. The overall mix of events contained within the festival over the course of a month plus the fringe element aims to cater for the widest possible range of demographic interest and community interest. As well as maintaining the event’s longstanding record and reputation as Australia’s premier celebration of spring, it is, of course, the city’s single biggest tourism event; although I might add that the Enlighten Festival is rapidly catching Floriade in terms of visitor attendance.

Domestic and family violence—government initiatives

MS CHEYNE: My question is to the Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence. Minister, can you update the Assembly on how the new program, room4change, will support families impacted by or escaping family and domestic violence in the ACT?

MS BERRY: I thank Ms Cheyne for her question. Domestic and family violence continues to be a major driver of homelessness, with around 30 per cent of people who access homelessness services stating that this is the reason for seeking assistance.

In 2016-17 the ACT government announced funding for the innovative room4change pilot as part of the safer families package. A fundamental element of this pilot program is to provide support to assist women and children to stay in the family home where it is safe to do so. The ACT government has committed a total of $2.7 million and the provision of nine properties over three years for the room4change program.

Men participate in the program for up to six months, including a 20-week behaviour change program. These men have the option to stay in room4change accommodation or reside within their own homes.

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