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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 1951..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

Since December 2003, the number of methadone and buprenorphine subsidised places has been increased.

However, the 2004-05 ACT budget papers show the following under measure: "Number of registered clients on pharmacotherapy treatment programs". A footnote shows this as the number of clients accessing methadone and buprenorphine only. The 2003-04 target is shown as 800, the 2003-04 estimated outcome is shown as 800, and the 2004-05 target is shown as 800.

Why do the 2004-05 ACT budget papers not show the number of registered clients on these programs as having increased consistent with your statements that the number of subsidised clients has increased?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Smyth for the question. The answer is in the last part of Mr Smyth's question; that is, the difference between registered and subsidised places. The ACT government has increased the number of subsidised places available on buprenorphine and methadone replacement therapies from the 673 that were subsidised in December, to 729 now subsidised as of March this year. So the government has significantly increased the number of subsidised places. We are on track for the additional 100 subsidised places by the end of the financial year.

Mr Smyth refers to a figure of the total number of people who are registered clients, including those people who pay for their own treatment. The government has increased the number of subsidised clients from 673 in December last year to 729 in March.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker I have a supplementary question. Where is this shown in the budget papers?

MR CORBELL: I encourage Mr Smyth to look in detail at the budget papers. If he is unhappy with the level of information, I am happy to clarify it further in estimates. The measure used here has now been used for a number of years. It is the total number of people registered, not the number of subsidised places. That is the fault in Mr Smyth's claim.

Water bore licences

MS DUNDAS: Mr Speaker, through you, my question is to the Minister for Environment, Mr Stanhope. Minister, in November last year I raised concerns about the proliferation of new backyard water bores. You said, through the media, that the government had ceased granting new water-bore licences. Can you inform the Assembly why you said the granting of licences had ceased, when licences still continue to be granted?

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I must say that I will need to actually look at the question and the answer and clarify it. Certainly, there are still applications being made for water bores. Issues in relation to water bores are something I have taken some particular interest it. I have been concerned, in an environment of significant water restriction and in the drought circumstance that we face, that we not have citizens and


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