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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 3 Hansard (14 March) . . Page.. 532..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

particularly around early intervention, prevention and mental health promotion. We are working with the commonwealth on the COAG agenda for mental health reform.

You can see from the mandatory criteria in the accreditation documents that for many of the mandatory criteria we have been successful in achieving the results that we have only because of the support that has been provided to resource the mental health budget to an appropriate standard. When we came to government, mental health spending was just over 5.5 per cent of the health budget. We have now moved that to just over seven per cent of the health budget and we are working towards increasing it to 12 per cent by 2012, in line with the wishes of peak mental health lobby groups, which have been lobbying all governments across Australia to realign the expenditure on mental health to target the areas of need that we are seeing in our community.

This is a good news story, Mr Smyth. We look forward to a media release from you congratulating Mental Health ACT. It might kill you, but you might just have to do a positive story on health. It is a good news story. I commend the staff. Lots of work goes into accreditation. There is a lot of anxiety around accreditation time, but the results which are being achieved by Mental Health ACT should be acknowledged and rewarded, because the results have been fantastic.

Emergency Services Agency—capital works budget

MR PRATT: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, earlier this month the Emergency Services Commissioner and you released a business plan for the ACT Emergency Services Agency for the period 2007-08 to 2009-10. An integral part of this plan is the analysis of recurrent and capital works budgets for each year. Minister, with the annual operating budget for the agency being around $80 million why will the budget for capital works reduce from around $22 million in 2006-07 to only $1.6 million in 2009-10? Given this reduction in the capital works budget, what capacity will this budget provide for new and ongoing capital works projects?

MR CORBELL: The reason for that is that we will have completed the headquarters. That is why there is a reduction in the capital works budget.

MR PRATT: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Minister, how will the Emergency Services Agency achieve appropriate replacement and upgrading of assets with such a small budget for capital works in the outyears?

MR CORBELL: Through the budget, Mr Speaker.

Education

DR FOSKEY: My question is to the minister for education and concerns educational outcomes. The minister may recall that when I asked him, through a question on notice last November, if the government recognises that key indicators for educational achievement are the educational achievements and socioeconomic status of the students' parents and family, he said no.


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