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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 3633..


Relocation of Clients from Hennessy House

MS TUCKER: My question is to Mr Moore as the minister for health. Mr Moore, you may be aware that there have been some concerns expressed over the last week or so about the process of moving people from Hennessy House. Ten people are going to be relocated to accommodate the establishment of a secure care unit. There is, according to the advocacy agency working in the area, a lot of anxiety among the clients about this move. How many consultations have occurred with the people who are going to be moved, as a group and individually?

MR MOORE: I am aware that there has been some concern about some of the issues surrounding moving people from Hennessy House. However, I have to say that the information that has been given to me by the head of the health service is that there has been a huge amount of consultation with a wide range of people involved in that transfer. Ms Tucker, I do not have the exact detail on those consultations now, but I would be happy to take that part of the question on notice and come back with the details.

MS TUCKER: Are you also aware that some clients who have been accustomed to 24 - hour care are going to be moved into the Macquarie Hotel, even though there is a history of fear in the client group about staying there?

MR MOORE: I will take that on notice, Mr Speaker.

Disability Programs

MR RUGENDYKE: My question is to the health minister, Mr Moore. Minister, I have received information that ACT Community Care's Disability Programs has recently recruited a new employee on a three - month contract. This independent person, I understand, has been brought into the department to prepare Disability Programs for a pending inquiry. Could the minister please inform the Assembly what inquiry the person is preparing for and provide details of the exact nature of the brief? What preparation is needed and what needs to be cleaned up?

MR MOORE: Members would be aware that Disability Programs has been through a huge amount of change over the last three or four years. A wide range of very successful changes have occurred in that program. You would be aware that Disability Programs has put out a program for discussion not only on what they have achieved but also, in consultation with their community and the key stakeholders, to say, "What do we need to do to make things even better?" I made that information available to members, I think, six or eight weeks ago, to show what was happening.

Mr Speaker, it is a very successful program. That does not mean to say that there are not things that are of concern happening within Disability Programs. Clearly, members believe there is so much concern that it warrants an inquiry under the Inquiries Act. I have argued that that is not warranted. However, it is the case that the majority of members believe that such an inquiry is warranted.

What Disability Programs did know was that there would be an inquiry of some sort into their programs. I have never shied away from that fact; I was quite accepting of the Assembly's view that there would be an inquiry. Therefore, Disability Programs has


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