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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 6 Hansard (7 June) . . Page.. 1803..

MS MacDONALD (continuing):

and complex needs, by providing an additional $1.85 million per year for the provision of specialist support and treatment services.

Between 2002 and 2006 this government has provided an additional $12 million to address unmet need, including $2.2 million in the 2002-03 budget; $3.78 million in the 2003-04 budget to address individual support needs, the needs of clients with complex behaviours and the transport needs of people with a disability; $3.78 million in the 2004-05 budget to address the unmet need of individuals with a disability, an intensive care and treatment program for people at risk, respite for older carers and further funding for transport needs of people with a disability; and $2.6 million in the 2005-06 budget for community support and crisis intervention, children with high and complex needs, including autism, and community support services youth and young adults, or the CSSYYA.

This year's budget also includes a new $2 million capital injection for a therapy ACT southern hub. This hub will ensure clients can benefit from the experience of a range of specialists in one location, including psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech pathologists.

Over the next six months several new services will commence, including community support services for youth and young adults. This initiative will fund the establishment of a new person-centred community-based service on the north side of Canberra for young people who have a disability. New intensive support services for adults and families with children with a dual diagnosis of a disability and mental illness will begin. A new person-centred day options community service on the north side of Canberra will also commence in mid 2006, at a total cost of $415,000 per year.

All of these initiatives highlight the government's recognition that this is a major issue in our society. I commend the government on its outstanding track record in addressing the needs of people with disabilities in this community and supporting them to realise their vision of achieving what they want to achieve, living how they choose to live and being valued as full and equal members of the ACT community. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.47): I commend Ms MacDonald on putting this motion on the notice paper this morning. It is an important issue and it is an issue that has been there for some time. Most governments in most jurisdictions have not done much in the way of making sure that there are real bricks and mortar on the ground to accommodate young people, unlike the previous Liberal government, which in this jurisdiction put some blocks together in Hughes, just behind the Hughes primary school, and opened two buildings, which I understand at the time were run by the National Acquired Brain Injury Foundation, specifically for young men.

In these figures, my recollection is that young men are over-represented. Young men tend to have more car accidents, particularly motorbike accidents, and suffer from paraplegia and quadriplegia which, as they get older, as Ms MacDonald has pointed out, becomes an enormous burden both on their family and their friends. Also, most homes are not built in such a way that can accommodate their needs-access, wider doorways, wider halls for wheelchairs and indeed beds in which, in some cases, these people will spend the rest of their lives.

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