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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 2 Hansard (29 February) . . Page.. 369..

MR MOORE (continuing):

In support for carers, the Department of Health and Community Care provides funding for the Carers Association to provide an information and counselling service and funding for Respite Care ACT for in-home respite and provision of excursions and recreation activities. There are currently 215 places in residential aged care facilities catering especially for people with dementia. This represents about 12.5 per cent of total available beds in the ACT. Therefore, there is a diversity of services already available for people with dementia and for their carers.

The ACT Government is committed to developing an integrated approach to aged health care and closer cooperation between service providers. We are also committed to avoiding doubling up where we can, because the money we spend on doubling up is money we do not have for service delivery. We are currently examining an appropriate service model for aged care, including support for people with dementia, which promotes a cooperative approach.

Mr Wood, I am not eliminating the possibility of funding for the Alzheimer's Association but I am also not committing to it on the basis that it has run a particularly good campaign. We will provide funding on an equitable basis, the same as we do to other non-government organisations, for service delivery.

MR WOOD: I ask a supplementary question. I thank Mr Moore for his answer. I think my question did focus on the service delivery side of what the association does. They are out there in the field working with people who desperately need their help. But that does need some backup; that does need some support. It does not happen by someone clicking their fingers. Minister, you talked about a cooperative approach and said that you are not ruling out assistance. When do you think negotiations between you and your department and the Alzheimer's Association might produce some beneficial result for them?

MR MOORE: Whilst I respect the work the Alzheimer's Association are doing and the voluntary nature of much of the work they are doing, I am interested in an improved outcome for people with Alzheimer's, for people with dementia. That is the critical issue. It may well be that there is no positive outcome for the Alzheimer's Association in those terms. On the other hand, if we believe that through the departmental processes and through the setting of our priorities the Alzheimer's Association can deliver services that are not provided by somebody else or that they can provide in a more efficient and effective manner than somebody else can, then there will be a positive outcome. But we are putting our focus first and foremost on the people who need help, and they include carers of people with dementia.

Ms Carnell: Mr Speaker, I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Conference on Policy Advice

MS CARNELL: On 16 February 2000, Mr Wayne Berry, during question time, asked a question relating to my attendance at the performance measures on policy advice conference on 30 May. I have already advised Mr Berry of the answer. I seek leave to incorporate it in Hansard.

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