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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 7 Hansard (3 August) . .

Page.. 2217..


MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones?

MRS JONES: Minister, is the facility still being used as full-time accommodation at all for detainees or prisoners, or are there any plans to use the facility again as full-time accommodation?

Mr Rattenbury: Which facility is that?

MRS JONES: Symonston.

MR RATTENBURY: Symonston? There are currently no full-time detainees at Symonston. It has been closed. The government have been open about the fact that detainees were going there. We also indicated that it would be a temporary operation until the extra capacity was constructed at the AMC. All full-time detainees have now been returned to the AMC. In fact, weekend detention is coming towards the end of its period as well; that will also wind up at Symonston in the near future.

Mrs Jones: Will it be used again?

MR RATTENBURY: At this stage the government has taken no decision on the future of that site.

Housing—homelessness

MS BURCH: Could the minister for housing and community services update the Assembly on the execution of funding agreements for the ACT's housing and homelessness services and how the government's approach is supporting service providers and the clients?

MS BERRY: I thank Ms Burch for her question. This government recognises that the wellbeing of disadvantaged people and families is one of the most important responsibilities for the government and the wider community. This week in national Homelessness Week it is important to note that equal access to housing is an essential part of ensuring that all Canberrans have an equal chance to fully participate in our community. This is why the ACT government has been investing and will continue to invest in housing and homelessness services.

The quality and reach of local services to some of the most vulnerable people in our community also means we have a full picture of our homelessness challenge here in the ACT as we continue to work to get homelessness numbers down. This is why the ACT government has extended funding arrangements for the ACT's 48 homelessness services for a minimum of three more years with provision for an extension for two further years, giving them the flexibility they need to respond to the gaps in the existing service systems.

These arrangements, which commence on 1 July, will bring the government's spending on homelessness service delivery for our first three-year term to almost $63 million. The execution of these funding arrangements and the processes we have


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