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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 2 Hansard (20 February) . .

Page.. 404..


Taskforce Nemesis and a further $8 million in other budgets for criminal gang activity. ACT police are acting on it, and they have my full confidence.

MR PARTON: Minister, will you undertake to fully inform the public if another bikie gang, whether it be the Finks or another gang, attempts to move to Canberra? Will you fully inform the public of that?

MR GENTLEMAN: As I said I do not have interactions with outlaw motorcycle gang members, so I am unaware of whether or not they have an intention to move to Canberra. Of course, ACT police do keep me up to date. Certainly, if there are other members coming to Canberra, we will inform the Canberra public.

Mental health—acute care capacity

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Mental Health. I refer to the Productivity Commission's Report on Government Services 2018 on mental health services. Minister, this report shows that the number of mental health acute care beds per 100,000 people between 2005-06 and 2015-16 has fallen by 17.6 per cent. It also shows that the patient days per 1,000 people for admitted patients in acute care has increased by more than a third, but that staffing per 100,000 people had increased by only 16 per cent and remains well below the national average. Minister, why has the ACT Greens-Labor government allowed a decline in acute mental healthcare services over the past decade?

MR RATTENBURY: I reject the premise of Mrs Dunne's question. The government has invested extensively in mental health services in recent years such as the provision of new and additional services, as well as the addition of new beds such as the Dhulwa mental health facility.

Mrs Dunne has mashed a series of figures together. When I read the transcript later I will be happy to provide some more information on the detail for each of those. There are reasons behind each of those sets of data. The way Mrs Dunne has represented them I do not believe provides a full account of the status of the mental health system in the ACT.

We are working with a range of community service providers as well. The ACT is a leading jurisdiction for the provision of community mental health services. Here in the territory, 20 per cent of our funding goes to the community health sector compared to seven per cent nationally. We have a very different approach here. We work with community partners, and that is one of the factors that goes to some of the figures that Mrs Dunne has just cited.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, why are residents with acute mental health problems, particularly adolescents, having to seek care interstate?

MR RATTENBURY: There are reasons sometimes why that happens. It can be a reason of speciality, that, being a relatively small centre, we do not have the specialist care that is needed. It can be parental choice or it can be that people feel they cannot get the services they need here in the ACT. They are all factors. The government has


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