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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 3 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 1172..


MR CORNWELL (continuing):

for Ageing and the Elder Abuse Prevention Implementation Taskforce. The ACT government contract for provision of services to older people now contains a requirement that they adhere to specific principles to ensure that the autonomous rights, dignity, and welfare of older people are upheld. There is also a requirement that mandatory police checks be incorporated in government contracts related to services for older people.

It appears that any or all of the above have been breached by ACT Housing and therefore constitute a charge of elder abuse in respect of tenants of Carlaminda Court by their neighbours across the road. I mention this tonight in the adjournment because I am still awaiting a response from Mr Wood, Minister for Housing, to advise me what action ACT Housing proposes to take against their tenancy-breaching residents who to date have appeared to ignore anti-firework laws and, indeed, AVOs that have been taken out against them. I am awaiting Mr Wood's response with interest. If I am not satisfied, be assured, Chief Minister, that I will be writing to you laying a claim of elder abuse against ACT Housing.

ACT Housing

Lions Youth of the Year

MR STEFANIAK (10.45): I am interested that Mr Cornwell mentioned that particular matter because in an adjournment debate last week I spoke about the same problem, that is, the house opposite Carlaminda Court, which had been freshly painted and renovated and which, when I saw it a couple of weeks ago, had had the fence and gate kicked in and the gutters hanging off. Mr Cornwell is quite right about the elder abuse there; I think it is an untenable situation. I would expect that the people at number 8, who are causing so much harm and victimisation of the elderly, indeed some frail elderly people as well, should not remain in that particular place.

I am concerned also at the attitude taken regarding complaints raised in relation to certain officers at ACT Housing in Belconnen, who seem to do nothing in relation to the problem. In fact there are certainly concerns in relation to one particular officer who has basically tried to pretend that the problem does not exist and has caused a lot of angst to two or three elderly people and residents of that particular place. There are some real issues there that need to be resolved as a matter of urgency. You can talk about human rights, but the only rights being exercised there are the rights of those poor elderly people to be victimised and the rights of the people across the road to do exactly what they like regardless of the law, AVOs, and everything else.

On a much nicer note: tonight I have rather sadly had to come back to do my duty here in the Assembly because I have been involved during the last week in helping judge a Lions contest for three fine year 12 students, one from Queanbeyan High School, one from Merici and one from Radford, who are competing to go forward as the regional Lions youth of the year. I was highly impressed with the calibre of the three year 12 students, one male and two females. They are particularly impressive young people.

Unfortunately I had to miss out on judging the speeches and the impromptu speech, which was the last 15 per cent of their assessment, although I participated in the other 85 per cent. I look forward to seeing who is going to win; it will be very hard to pick. I compliment the Lions, especially the Belconnen Lions Club, on hosting that particular


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