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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 3 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 1175..


MRS BURKE (continuing):

Again, this is an excellent commitment by the federal government. Providing carers with a well-deserved break through respite care is one way we can assist them while ensuring that their loved ones continue to receive the high-quality care they need. Both of these services will enhance the quality of life of those receiving care and their carers. It is important to note, too, that the Australian government has delivered around $2 million this year for services to support carers in the ACT. I would hope that, with all this money that we have in the territory, we are going to hear some really good news stories about respite care, not just in aged care but right across the board including those people with children with autism and Asperger's syndrome who are really suffering and struggling at this time.

Aged care accommodation

MRS DUNNE (10.56): To round out what has been a bit of an aged care fortnight, I would like to bring to the house's attention some concerns raised with constituents of mine, in particular the Belconnen Community Council, about the sale of land in Belconnen for bulky goods retailing and other commercial uses. I would like to share with the Assembly some extracts from correspondence that I have received in relation to this. There is a block of land opposite the Belconnen Markets-block 11 section 32, but they are about to change the name of it-near the Winchester Centre, which is up for sale next week.

This block of land was raised with me some time ago as an area that would be potentially a great site for aged care accommodation. The Belconnen Community Council raised with me, and I note that they have raised it with others, the possibility of its being put in the mix of potential aged care sites. I notice that the Belconnen Community Council wrote to the Chief Minister earlier this year and pointed to this, among others, as being a very important site that was worth further consideration. In the email to the Chief Minister, they made the following preliminary comments about the suitability of this site. They did mention others. They said:

It is a negligible distance from shopping facilities, both market and more, cinemas and the likely new bus interchange with a very short distance to the library, senior citizens clubs, other clubs and the Belconnen Community Service and the Belconnen Community Centre. It is an elevated site with good views.

The Chief Minister emailed back to the Belconnen Community Council in response to this email. He talks about the usual things that the government talks about, that they are trying to identify sites for aged care housing, which is a key feature of the government's recently announced Building for our Ageing Community Strategy; and he says that ACTPLA is investigating the potential of sites throughout Canberra to cater for the needs of the ageing population. The Chief Minister also says, "I have forwarded the sites that you have suggested to ACTPLA for their consideration. The sites have merit."Later, in another email on 28 January, the Chief Minister says:

There's a whole of government working group including the Land Development Agency and the Planning and Land Authority working with the newly-appointed case manager to advance this program. The three blocks that you


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