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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 8 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 3374..


MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary?

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, why did you disagree with the Ombudsman's recommendation to have clear policies and guidelines about which applicants should be referred to the multidisciplinary panel and then to the priority waiting list?

MS BURCH: There are clear guidelines and policies that embrace all our assessment processes about who is eligible for Housing ACT and the different criteria across those three streams for the waiting list.

MR COE: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, do you believe the multi-disciplinary panel should be meeting more than once a month?

MS BURCH: That is an internal question for management. These are other panel providers. They are not Housing ACT staff. We have an average of over 100. I note that over the last couple of weeks the priority housing list has decreased and I think in some large part that has been due to the fact that we have been able to transfer people off that list as a result of the older persons units where we have moved the older person into smaller accommodation, releasing nearly 300—

Mr Coe: Do you believe it should meet more than once a month?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, you have asked your question. Ms Hunter, a supplementary?

MS HUNTER: Minister, will you please table, by the end of the sitting today, policies and guidelines that provide instructions on whether a housing applicant should be categorised as being on the priority waiting list, the high-needs waiting list or the standard housing waiting list?

MS BURCH: I will come back with whatever I can as soon as I can, Ms Hunter.

Schools—therapy assistance program

MS PORTER: My question is to Minister Burch. Minister, you recently launched a therapy assistance in schools pilot project. Can you please outline for the Assembly the main details of the scheme?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for her question. The therapy assistant pilot program was funded in the 2011-12 budget to examine the effectiveness of placing therapy assistants in seven ACT schools. Following a plan developed by Therapy ACT, eight experienced staff have been recruited to the project, which commenced in July.


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