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

Page.. 405..


been clear that it intends to build a child and adolescent mental health inpatient unit in the ACT, and that work is currently being planned.

But I do not think the characterisation again that Mrs Dunne has put forward is a fair one. Mrs Dunne and I have had an exchange of words about a case that she raised last year. I think that case highlighted the complexities for individuals. There are some limits to service offerings in the ACT. The government has acknowledged that. We are working on that through our commitment to building a new facility.

But I have also been very frank in saying that, with the increasing number of young people identifying with mental health concerns, we need to evolve our service provision. I think we need to be clear though that not every young person needs an acute inpatient response. In many cases that will not be the best response. In many cases it is actually better to have the young person remain at home where they can receive outreach services. In some cases it is beneficial to work with the whole family, not just the young person involved. The complexity of these cases and the variety of these cases speak to the need for a range of different solutions.

MS LEE: Minister, when will the ACT Greens-Labor government provide the acute care resources that are needed to treat those in our community who are most at risk?

MR RATTENBURY: The government has invested heavily in this space. We now have the Dhulwa mental health unit, which was opened in November 2016, which provides forensic mental health care for the most acute patients in our system. That facility has provided a very important addition to the ACT's mental health system. We, of course, have the adult mental health unit at Canberra Hospital. That is a quite modern facility, and one that is meeting needs. We also now have the short-stay mental health unit at the emergency department. There is a series of acute inpatient facilities across the spectrum of needs in the ACT. As I said in my previous answer, acute services are not always the right answer for all individuals. We should be careful not to assume that an inpatient facility is the right answer for all mental health needs.

Public housing—renewal program

MS CODY: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Could you please provide the Assembly with an update on the public housing renewal program?

MS BERRY: I thank Ms Cody for the question and, yes, I am always happy to update the Assembly on how we are supporting people in the ACT who might not be able to get into homes of their own so easily. The government has made great progress on delivering 1,288 new housing properties, replacing homes that no longer suit the needs of our community. The ACT government has invested more than $600 million into the program, and I am happy to say that we are past the halfway point in delivering those 1,288 homes on time, to be completed in 2019. Members will be aware that the development applications for Holder, Wright and Chapman have now been approved. Once completed, this will see 62 new homes available for tenants now

and well into the future. Overall the program is on track and delivering new housing for public housing tenants across the ACT.


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