Land sales not for budget cuts: Sweeney

23/07/2009 - 14:47

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Child Protection Minister Robyn McSweeney has defended the sale of surplus state-owned properties, saying it is part of a strategic decision to fund the expansion of residential care services and not an attempt to meet budget cuts.

Land sales not for budget cuts: Sweeney

Child Protection Minister Robyn McSweeney has defended the sale of surplus state-owned properties, saying it is part of a strategic decision to fund the expansion of residential care services and not an attempt to meet budget cuts.

 

The announcement is below:

 

 

Child Protection Minister Robyn McSweeney today stated the sale of surplus State-owned properties was a strategic decision to fund the expansion of residential care services, and not an attempt to meet budget cuts, as alleged by Acting Leader of the Opposition Roger Cook.

"In 2007, the Department for Child Protection undertook a strategic review of all of its land and buildings to identify all surplus properties," Mrs McSweeney said.

"The purpose of this review was to initiate the sale of surplus properties, with the proceeds directed towards the reform and expansion of the department's residential care services, through the purchase and construction of additional residential care facilities."

"This is a smart and responsible reinvestment of funds into infrastructure that is necessary for the provision of child protection services, and will ultimately lead to better outcomes for children and young people placed in residential care."

The new facilities will offer an additional 144 beds in group homes and intensive therapeutic homes, and 20 beds in a secure care facility and was initiated in response to the 2007 Ford Review that identified the need for reform and expansion of residential care services.

"Mr Cook's assertion that the sale of these properties was designed to fund budget cuts is incorrect," the Minister said.

"For the record, the Department for Child Protection has successfully managed to meet the three per cent cuts through a combination of streamlined services and good management, and will meet their requirements without any impact on service delivery."


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