Page 3377 - Week 09 - Thursday, 24 August 2017

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arrangements, such as people in mental health facilities or supported accommodation, children living in out-of-home care or people in custody; and people experiencing vulnerability whose ability to pursue their own interests is diminished, either temporarily or permanently.

It is a very important role and one that I am pleased there is additional funding for this year. As the independent statutory office holder, the Public Advocate monitors the provision of services for people experiencing vulnerability, provides oversight of the systems that support these people, gives a voice to people experiencing vulnerability and holds the government to account.

This initiative will provide funding for an additional senior advocate to respond to recent and anticipated changes to legislative and service systems within the territory. These include increased family violence awareness, the implementation of the reportable conduct scheme, the review of the working with vulnerable people checks, and recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. An additional resource will assist the Public Advocate in meeting its statutory obligations by not only responding to increased demand but also analysing emerging themes and promoting systemic improvements in a more proactive way.

Being able to advocate for improvements to services and facilities for children and young people has the potential to alleviate pressures on the care and protection system, while also providing benefits for the children and young people of the ACT more generally.

In response to the Glanfield review, the ACT government committed to reviewing the resources of the Public Advocate and Children and Young People Commissioner as well as the resources in the Community Services Directorate required to respond to oversight requests. I note that this review has also been subject to a motion in the Assembly. I will work closely with Minister Stephen-Smith to clarify the scope and method of the review, and will contribute to Minister Stephen-Smith’s report back to the Assembly. This review will be undertaken in advance of the broader review of protection of rights services legislation, which is required by legislation as soon as practicable after 1 April 2019, to see if the new structure is effective in delivering the objects of the act.

In that regard, members will note that I tabled a response to recommendation 79 of the estimates committee today, which goes to the specific question of executive salaries under the new structure. It indicates that there is a smaller proportion of the budget now being spent on executive salaries, which was one of the intents of the restructure. The restructure of the Human Rights Commission was also aimed at ensuring that the functions of the commissioners could be undertaken in the most efficient manner and freeing up resources for service delivery. The answer I have provided indicates that that is being successful.

The changes also included moving the previous guardianship functions of the Public Advocate to the new Public Trustee and Guardian. The Public Advocate’s remaining functions are transferred to the position of a Human Rights Commission. I am

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