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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1632..


Mr Stanhope: Just withdraw it and sit down. It hasn't been withdrawn.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Dunne has withdrawn the imputation. Thank you, Mrs Dunne.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, since its election in November last year, the ACT government has been working in good faith with the Australian Sports Commission. I, as minister, have met with the chief executive of the Australian Sports Commission on two occasions to discuss the commission's concerns. One of those occasions was an onsite visit and inspection of the AIS campus. Officers of the Department of Urban Services have been in continual contact with the Australian Sports Commission and have agreed with the Australian Sports Commission on a joint study into the impact on the training environment at the AIS of a possible western alignment.

Mr Speaker, that is dealing in good faith. What is not dealing in good faith is for the ASC and the AIS to participate in those studies, and to cooperate in that way, yet continue to say publicly that no outcome except a refusal by this government to build a road on the western alignment is acceptable. That is not acting in good faith, and that is what they continue to assert publicly-that no matter what this government does, the road cannot be built on the western alignment. Mr Speaker, that is not dealing in good faith.

The ASC and the AIS cannot have it both ways. They cannot say, "Yes, we will work with you" and then continue to publicly assert that the western alignment is unacceptable no matter what. They should, as a minimum, await the conclusion of the detailed assessments-assessments being paid for by the ACT government-before they reach any definitive conclusion which asserts that the western alignment is unacceptable no matter what.

Disability services

MS MacDONALD: My question is to the Minister for Health. Can the minister tell the Assembly the effect of last night's federal budget announcements in relation to the funding of disability services? Has the Commonwealth met the commitments it gave to the states and territories in relation to disability services funding?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms MacDonald for the question. Yes, the federal government did confirm last night that they would not be withdrawing their previous commitment to ageing carers of people with disabilities by continuing to provide $100 million nationally on a recurrent basis. It does need to be recognised in relation to the statement made last night, though, that this is not a new promise. This is simply the keeping of a promise that was made in July 2000 at a meeting of a ministerial council of disability ministers that was attended by the then minister, Michael Moore. At that meeting the Commonwealth did commit to provide additional funds of $100 million on a recurrent basis.

So it is pleasing that the Commonwealth has, through this budget, kept that promise. They claimed it to be a new initiative and new monies, but it is really simply the keeping of a promise. So there is, in fact, no new funding in this budget for states and territories-just the maintenance of what was previously allocated outside of the multilateral agreement.

I think it has to be said in relation to disability funding, too, that the Commonwealth contributes less than 20 per cent of the monies that are provided by most states and territories for the provision of disability services, and we need to keep that in mind. But it is the view, I think, of all states and the territories that the Commonwealth is not meeting its obligations to people with a disability to the extent that the community would expect.


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