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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 3956..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

We genuinely feel the need for extra funds from the commonwealth. We have the same issues that other jurisdictions have in terms of the increase in demand for services. We are hopeful that our extra injection of funds will be matched, having regard to the discussions we will be having shortly with the federal Labor government. The money that we have provided in that budget, as I have outlined, will go to those areas, and that money is already being rolled out now. Families are receiving extra services that they have not received in the past.

There are a number of other areas that we are working on. It is not all about funding; it is about having appropriate programs. We are continuing, with quite a deal of success, the work around young people living in residential aged care facilities. The ACT Chief Minister's inclusion awards grow every year. In fact, we will be looking for a larger venue for that awards ceremony. I understand that approximately 400 people attended this year's event, with more people being turned away. Minister Hargreaves attended that event and presented the premier award for inclusion on behalf of the Chief Minister, while awards were presented in eight other categories in business, government and community sectors.

There is also the business leaders innovative thoughts and solutions program, which is another key part of our focus in terms of inclusion in the community for people with a disability. BLITS brings together business leaders to provide thoughts and solutions on how to include people with a disability in the community. Again, that program is having great success. A recent event was the BLITS-ACT chamber of commerce "Business after Business"cocktail event; over 100 representatives of the chamber of commerce and government met at the Dendy cinema complex in Civic on Thursday, 21 September.

We are also doing a range of work on the role of government as provider. This is quite delicate work because it does involve whether or not the government should be in the business of disability services—whether it should be an accommodation provider in disability services. I have met with many families on this matter as we have gone through the consultation process, and assured them there is a role for government in providing accommodation support. We currently provide support for 161 adults in about 56 houses. We provide support for about 50 per cent of the accommodation support sector. So we are a significant partner in that regard. That work has almost reached a conclusion and I look forward to informing the Assembly of the outcomes of that consultation and the decisions the government takes in relation to that in the near future.

Ministerial performance

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, Mr Hargreaves, in his capacity as the minister responsible for bus interchanges, has refused to accept responsibility for the implementation of safety measures such as the installation of CCTV cameras and rostering of extra personnel. Given Mr Hargreaves's failure to take the issue of passenger and staff safety at bus interchanges seriously, do you still have full confidence in this minister for ACTION?

MR STANHOPE: The question is simply based on a fallacy; it is simply wrong. The minister has accepted absolutely the responsibility to ensure that our interchanges and


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