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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 4 Hansard (17 March) . . Page.. 1235..


(2) Consistent with the Bushfire Recovery Plan, bushfire affected members of the community receive specialist support when appropriate, such as that provided by the Bushfire Support Unit, and are referred to a range of community service providers, including Communities@Work and Woden Community Service, to meet their other support needs. These community organisations are a vital part of the recovery process, supporting individuals, families and communities to rebuild skills and capacity.

The Bushfire Support Unit continues to provide services previously offered through the ACT Recovery Centre (information and referral, practical support, support to rural and urban communities) and partners with the ACT Planning and Land Authority to assist households to work through their housing options.

(3) Prior to the closure of the ACT Recovery Centre, a letter was sent to every person who was registered with the Centre, advising of the formation of the Bushfire Support Unit. A brochure providing contact details for a wide number of services including counselling, building, government and health was included with the letter and this brochure was also made available to the community through Canberra Connect Shopfronts, ACT Government Libraries and the Bushfire Recovery website. The weekly Bushfire Information advertisements in the Saturday Canberra Times provided information on the Bushfire Support Unit and important contact numbers for the month preceding the April ACT Recovery Centre closure. The Community Update Newsletter featured special supplements, which included all the numbers published in the Contacts brochure. An updated Contacts brochure was recently sent to bushfire-affected people still registered with the BSU.

(4) The Bushfire Support Unit recovery workers are working closely with Communities@Work and Woden Community Service, who are funded to assist the community recovery process for residents of bushfire affected suburbs, including rural areas such as Tharwa, Uriarra, Pierces Creek and Stromlo.

In 2004-05, the ACT Government provided $61,201 to Communities@Work and $79,753 to Woden Community Service to provide a range of community development and support activities. These include facilitation of groups and community activities, support to resident's associations, production of newsletters and the provision of personal counselling services to bushfire-affected members of the community.

(5) A small number of people who were affected by the bushfire are receiving ongoing counselling funded by the ACT Government through a contract arrangement with Relationships Australia. Across the community it is expected people would seek occasional counselling from either private services or through regional community service organisations, Workplace Employee Assistance programs or private practitioners.

Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders-shared responsibility

(Question No 89)

Mrs Burke asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 15 February 2005:

(1) What progress has been made to date in (a) implementing and (b) addressing the development of the culturally appropriate strategies under the Share Responsibility Agreement;


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