Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hon. Desley Scott's questions to Hon. Tracy Davis on behalf of ALAS

Mrs SCOTT: Minister, following the Queensland apology to forced adoption mothers in November 2012, ALAS wrote to you requesting you address unfinished business for these women. Minister, can you tell the committee what issues ALAS raised with you? I seek leave to table a copy of the letter from ALAS which outlines the issues. That may assist in refreshing your memory. Minister, what progress, if any, has been made on addressing the issues outlined in the letter?

Ms DAVIS: Could I just ask for the reference to the SDS? Sorry, I missed that in the question.

Mrs SCOTT: SDS page 7, sorry.

CHAIR: I am seeking the leave of the committee for the letter to be tabled. Leave is granted.

Ms DAVIS: I thank the member for the question. It was a really historic day, the day the apology was delivered to those men and women who were challenged with those issues around forced adoption. I had the very great opportunity to meet many of those stakeholders, as I know you did, prior to the apology that was delivered by the Premier. It was a great privilege to be able to speak to that motion in the House.

Having understood from my conversations with these very brave women about the challenges that they had faced over a lifetime in not having had the opportunity to raise their child because they had not been provided with the options that are afforded to parents now if they are in fact considering adoption, I think I would ask that the member understand that I have had some private meetings, as have my staff, with ALAS. We are still working our way through those things. We know that there are a number of issues that they have raised that are of importance to them. We will continue to have dialogue with ALAS. They know that my office door is open for those conversations. We very much hope that we can work in a very collegial way to get some results that they are comfortable with.

Mrs SCOTT: So, Minister, you would foresee that you can actually bring some or all of these issues to finality for them?

Ms DAVIS: As I said, we are working through those. This is not an appropriate forum to identify those but, as I have said, the ladies particularly from ALAS know that the door is open. I know that there have been some conversations recently with my staff about some of those issues and what we might be able to achieve. So that is quite encouraging. 24 Jul 2013 Estimates—Community Services, Child Safety and Disability Services (Proof) 87

Recently I wrote to the Speaker about a permanent memorial. I know that is of very great interest to those affected by the practices of past forced adoptions. If I could just ask that those conversations continue, these are issues very close to the hearts of these ladies and it is appropriate that they are dealt with in a very compassionate manner.

Queensland Parliament Hansard 24/7/2013

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