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Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Page: 6014

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (20:21): Madam Deputy Chair, are you asking me to be brief?

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms Vamvakinou ): In a roundabout sort of way!

Mr STEPHEN JONES: I am interested in the impact of budget proposals as they relate to one of the local government areas within my electorate of Throsby, the local government area of Shellharbour. It has a stubbornly high unemployment rate, generally at around two per cent above the state average. We have a significant group of young people; about 25 per cent of the population within the LGA is under the age of 35, and there is a significant group of young unemployed people-particularly young unemployed parents. I am very pleased that the budget goes to some initiatives which, hopefully, will improve the life opportunities of these people. I note from the budget papers that the minister's portfolio is going to be critical to the delivery of some of these services. Indeed, recently the minister came down to the local government area and engaged with community representatives, which was very well received.

I am keen to hear from the minister on the Community Innovation through Collaboration initiative, which was a part of the measures. Hopefully, the minister will be able to update us on the role of the Human Services portfolio in these new initiatives and how we can get beyond the one-size-fits-all model, which has been part of our service delivery in the past.