Page 4114 - Week 13 - Thursday, 2 December 2021

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I also acknowledge Janine Haskins again. I started the opening speech, Mr Deputy Speaker, by saying that this motion was driven by lived experiences, many of whom were collected by Mrs Jones when she reached out to so many Canberra families that were really doing it tough. That is what it comes down to at the end of the day. It is about the people. It is about people like Janine and her daughter Brontë and everyone else who engaged with the Canberra Liberals and told us about their experiences and the heartache that they have gone through in navigating the mental health and drug and alcohol services here in the ACT. Janine, we are sorry that you have to be here today and you are fighting for people who, sadly, now cannot fight for themselves.

I will conclude by quoting the words of a family member of a person in the ACT who has been affected by both mental illness and addiction. I quote:

“Looking after a mentally ill, suicidal, addicted loved one is never-ending chaos for the partner and/or family. Yet through the provision of an integrated service with a focus on patient-centred care, I consider that it should be possible to provide appropriate treatment and support to achieve an outcome of wellbeing for all.”

Amendments agreed to.

Original question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.

Carers Recognition Bill 2021

Debate resumed from 23 June 2021, on motion by Ms Orr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (4.50): I rise to support the Carers Recognition Bill 2021 and amendments that will be, I expect, moved by Ms Orr. Carers are some of the most selfless people in our community. They work hard to support and care for those who need it. Carers play such an important role in our community and contribute to fostering a kinder and more accessible Canberra for people in need of support. Their role often goes unrecognised and forgotten, and they often do not receive the support and recognition they deserve.

The government is pleased to support this bill. Establishing legislation to recognise and promote the role of carers in our community is an important step for the territory, and I note almost every other Australian jurisdiction has enacted similar legislation.

This bill outlines care relationship principles which affirm the significance of the relationship between a carer and the person receiving care. Importantly, to put this into effect, this bill establishes obligations around awareness-raising, reporting and consultation, requiring organisations to consider and adapt their practices to support the care relationship that exists between carers and the people they care for.

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