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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012-2013 Week 1 Hansard (28 November) . . Page.. 169..


Health—mental health

MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Health. Clause 5.4(a) of the Labor-Greens parliamentary agreement states that a new mental health community-based after-hours crisis and assessment team will be established. When will this team be established and what is the cost of this item?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Wall for the question and for his interest in the Labor-Greens parliamentary agreement. As Mr Wall will be aware, the Labor Party went to the election with a promise for additional investment of $35 million in mental health related services over the term of the Assembly. That is clearly outlined in our policy documents. Some of that is funding for new services and additional staff for the mental health services. We already have an after-hours crisis and assessment team. I will be taking advice from the directorate about some extra support for the community sector in terms of the provision of those services, but we had already, as part of our commitments, identified that a proportion of that $35 million was to be provided to the community sector, and this is one of the priorities within that allocation.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: What will be the distinction in roles between the current crisis treatment team and the new team?

MS GALLAGHER: That will be determined on advice from the clinicians that work in both the non-government—

Mr Hanson: You just don't know.

MS GALLAGHER: That will be determined—I don't think it is any secret, Madam Speaker—from representations. If anyone had spent any time in the non-government sector in relation to mental health services, they would realise that this is one of the priorities of the non-government sector—the capacity to provide urgent, out-of-hours support to people who are experiencing crisis.

The community sector currently provide a lot of those services. They do it; that is where people recover from their mental illness, and we have been making quite large proportions of the extra funding going into mental health available to the non-government sector. The practicality and the model of care that will be determined must be done in conjunction and in consultation with the non-government sector and the treating clinicians who work for the government crisis and assessment team. That is how we deliver all of our services.

Through every budget, when we identify an allocation of money to go into a particular area of mental health where the pressure is, we allocate the money and then we negotiate with the non-government sector about their delivery of that service. I do not tell them how they will deliver the service. They are the experts. The government provides the extra support. It is to provide after-hours crisis support, Mr Hanson, from


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