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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 6 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 1638..


done is gone out to a number of families and asked for them to volunteer to be part of this, and we have about 20 families that are very keen and interested to work with us as we progress with this program.

There are about a dozen families in the scheme of things. There are probably about 200 families that would have a direct benefit from this, but it is a very complex project and working with a small number of families that are very keen to be part of this journey of change themselves, I think, is the right way to go.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, how much of the million-dollar price tag stems from troubled families spending years in contact with government agencies?

MS BURCH: I think it is most unfortunate that you have tagged onto the million-dollar family, not understanding the structural changes that we need to work through here. It is government but it is also non-government services. The families interacting across the agencies, with the ministers here, are also probably accessing non-government services, multiple agencies at different times. This project is about working across government and non-government agencies. Whether we are spending $10, $100, $1,000 or $100,000, in many ways it is the complexity of these families; we have got to partner with these families with very complex needs and make the difference, without necessarily worrying about a price tag.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, how important is it to provide assistance for these complicated and vulnerable families?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Gentleman for his question. It is absolutely critical that we work in partnership with these families. Those that are struggling through housing concerns often have other underlying health issues. It could be somebody who has a lifelong disability or disadvantage. There are others, though, that may enter into homelessness because of a change in employment conditions. It means that we have to respond to these at different times. If someone is presenting to a homelessness service, we also need to think about how we help them with other aspects of their life. Is it employment? Is it access to training to enhance their employment opportunities?

This new way of approaching these very complex clients actually walks in their shoes and has one caseworker answering and addressing those conditions. It is important that we have a holistic approach to this.

Multicultural affairs—driving lessons

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Minister, what support has the ACT government provided to help Canberra migrants on low incomes obtain a drivers licence? How did that support come about?


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