Page 1954 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 June 2022

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MS DAVIDSON: I thank Ms Orr for the question and for the work that she did last year on the Carers Recognition Act. I note that the act passed unanimously last year, which I think is a really good recognition of the importance of carers in our community.

This act requires carer support agencies, both government and non-government, to consider care relationship principles and consult with carers on their needs in all aspects of the organisation’s work. That might include services, programs, policies through to delivery and review. We are now putting the act into action. That means that ongoing commitment to ensuring that the policy intent and the principles of the act are translated into something meaningful for the 50,000 carers in our community to be recognised and supported in what they do by a wide range of organisations.

This is a whole-of-government and a whole-of-community responsibility. That is why the ACT government has been working closely with Carers ACT to develop and communicate support materials, like information sheets and reporting templates and frameworks, to help support carer support agencies, whether they are in the government or the non-government sector, to assist them with compliance and reporting against the act. That will also assist with any future reviews of the ACT.

I have written to carer support agencies to inform them that the Carers Recognition Act has commenced, to remind them of their obligations to carers under the act and also to encourage them to see the act as an opportunity to be more inclusive of carers. I am hoping that that provides some useful information on where we are at.

MS ORR: Can you give us an example of some of the carer support agencies that you have written to, so that we get an idea of the breadth of these groups across our community, as well as the sorts of guidelines and information they have been provided with.

MS DAVIDSON: I would be happy to take on notice and provide a full list of the agencies that we have written to and also a copy of some of the material that we have provided them with to assist them in their work.

I would note as well that there is a really diverse range of people in our community who are carers. That means that there will be a diverse range of organisations providing services that fall within this Carers Recognition Act. There are some carers who are quite young people, we have older people, we have people who have health conditions of their own to manage, as well as people who are managing caring responsibilities for multiple family members at the same time. With the nature of the pandemic that we have been through and the workforce impacts that has had on many of the support services in our city, our unpaid carers have had a lot of unpredictability in what they have needed. So it is more important than ever that we recognise what they are going through and provide the agencies that are supporting them with as much as help as possible to be able to do that work.

DR PATERSON: Minister, can you please update the Assembly on how the ACT government and directorates are working to meet the reporting obligations under the act?

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