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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 316..


MR MULCAHY (continuing):

$200 to supplement their loss. But this will leave many ACT residents out of pocket. Continence products are certainly not a luxury item, and they are not something that can be chopped from the shopping list in order to save a bit of money. Those who have been negatively affected by the government's actions on this issue have also been left in quite a deal of uncertainty.

The other day we debated in this Assembly the topic of the Stanhope government's decision-making processes. Members of the opposition and the crossbench were critical of the way in which some decisions have been made. Mr Barr rejected suggestions that there was something wrong with the way that the government was making its decisions, saying that it was often accused of failing to undertake proper community consultation but that this accusation was without merit. The instance here is a clear example of a situation where inadequate consultation has occurred, with affected parties and residents having been hurt by the decision.

Whilst this may seem to be a minor issue in the scheme of things, it is indicative of the faulty decision processes of the government, its poor judgement and its failure to properly calculate the consequences of its actions in its all-too-rare attempts to cut costs. This is a condition that affects a number of people, and certainly a number of older people in our community. I appeal to the minister to revisit the situation, ensure that the situation of those who have been affected by these changes and the confusion is addressed and ensure that they are not out of pocket between now and the formal reintroduction of the scheme, which we want to hear more about, in July 2008.

Mr John Coleman

Emergency services—FireLink

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (6.12): I would like to mark the passing of one of Canberra's stalwart members. On 23 December last year, John Coleman passed away. John will be known to friends, colleagues and listeners of radio for the print handicapped for his contribution over more years than I can count to radio for the print handicapped.

John had a mellow, perfect voice for radio, a laidback speaking style and was very easily recognised on the radio. His strong commitment to Radio 1RPH was exemplified by the number of activities he was involved in over the many years of his association with the station. These activities included the station manager, the treasurer, a weekday presenter of live reading programs, reading and producing his own programs, such as readings from the Bulletin, and the producer of several long-term programs such as A Spoonful of Sugar and From the Columns. The last time I was at radio for the print handicapped, when I went to play some station promos, I noted that there was John's voice, even after his passing. It was a testament to his commitment to radio for the print handicapped.

John was also a pioneer of audio description at the Playhouse—a service for the vision-impaired so that they may enjoy live theatre—and he was a great advocate of that. He was always keen to sell the virtues of live audio description. The other place where I often came across John was at his home parish, St Michael's in Kaleen. When I occasionally visited there to take in a late Sunday afternoon mass, I often found him there. He had been the president of the parish council and a leading member of the


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