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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 3 Hansard (18 March) . . Page.. 1129..


MS BURCH (continuing):

invoices—is that we have delivered it on budget over the three days, and it was a success.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary?

MS BRESNAN: In regard to refugee services, which you did mention earlier, what specific services are provided for asylum seekers, given their very specific circumstances? That includes housing options.

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Bresnan for her interest in refugees and asylum seekers. We have a refugee, asylum seeker and humanitarian coordination committee, and that is a clear way in which the ACT government connects with the important community services provided assistance to these groups of people. The committee has a settlement contact information resource that is provided to refugees and asylum seekers and other humanitarian entrants, and that resource will be updated this year.

We know, and we appreciate, that there are many challenges that these communities face when they come and settle here. In the ACT, we recognise that with financial help, housing, accommodation and, indeed, language support. The ACT government provides housing assistance through gateway services and the refugee transitional housing program. We also provide English lessons through a variety of opportunities that the Department of Education and Training manage and we provide funds through the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Service to undertake programs that fill in gaps in service provision that may be not covered by commonwealth funding.

I understand that the transitional housing that is available for asylum seekers and refugees is, indeed, playing an important part in supporting them. But it is transitional and then they work with Housing ACT to connect them with support structures and support systems and, indeed, how they can be better connected with sustainable housing.

Mr Seselja: On a point of order, Mr Speaker—and if you want to take this away and come back to the Assembly—on your ruling on Mr Doszpot's question, I have consulted the Clerk and I understand it is not in the standing orders, though there is mention in the Companion to the Standing Orders. Could you give us a ruling on how you will be ruling on that? From my quick reading of the Companion, it gives you the discretion to rule such questions out of order but it does not appear to require you to rule such questions out of order.

MR SPEAKER: I will take that on board and come back at a later time, given that it is obviously a question of some discussion, by the sound of it.

Disability services—support packages

MS BRESNAN: My question is for the minister for disability and is about individual support packages for people with a disability. Minister, yesterday during question time you advised that, with regard to the eight people with a disability who were in hospital this time last year despite being medically approved for discharge, three had yet to transition to the community. Minister, can you please advise how many people on top of those existing three currently are in that same situation?


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