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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 4 Hansard (31 March) . . Page.. 1418..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

There is a question of balance, and there is a question of capacity in relation to the contribution the government makes to people affected by the fire. Are you seriously suggesting, in the context of the decisions the government has taken to support urban residents affected by the fire, that a different regime should apply to rural lessees-that we simply meet all the costs they incur? Are you seriously suggesting that we apply a different standard?

These issues are complex, and they have been made complex by the vast range of different conditions in separate leases as between neighbour and neighbour in circumstances where some rural lessees insured and some did not. Some fully insured, some partially insured and some did not insure at all. It is very complex. The legal arrangements that apply to the different classes of lease produce different results and different conclusions. We have worked our way through all of those issues and have agreed, through the third appropriation, to commit an additional $21/2 million, as I remember, to repair rural fences. The vast majority of rural lessees are more than satisfied with the government's response to this issue.

Mental health-funding

MR HARGREAVES: Can the Minister for Health advise the Assembly of the amount of money that the Stanhope government spends on mental health?

MR CORBELL: Yesterday, during the adjournment debate, Mr Smyth asked me whether I could help him understand where the figure of $117 per head, or per capita, comes from. I am grateful for the opportunity presented by Mr Hargreaves's question to do that.

The amount of recurrent expenditure that the Stanhope government spends on mental health is clearly outlined on page 149 of budget paper No 4, that is, $37.966 million for 2003-04. That figure includes the new initiatives, plus CPI and pay rises, growth adjustments and so on. That is the amount of money that the ACT government-the Stanhope government-spends on mental health. The population estimate that underlies these figures is 323,000 territorians.

I am pleased to advise Mr Smyth that $38 million divided by 323,000 equals, believe it or not, $117 per head of population. I am really pleased that I have been able to outline, through Mr Hargreaves's question, the amount of money that the ACT government spends on mental health services. I would have thought that Mr Smyth would have understood that fairly basic calculation. Unfortunately, he seemed to be struggling with it last night during the adjournment debate, which just shows that you should not assume anything, Mr Speaker.

The opposition's spokesperson also asked me where the figure of $67 per head of population attributed to the last government comes from. As I indicated to Mr Smyth earlier and as I am pleased to confirm, that is confirmed at page 20 of chapter 2 of the national mental health report 2002. Mr Smyth's office can access this report, if he is interested in reflecting on the dismal record of the ACT Liberal government-the appalling and dismal record of the ACT Liberal government-by going to www.mentalhealth.gov.au and see it all there in black and white. That is where the figure


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