Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 2 August 2022) . . Page.. 2145 ..
Throughout the commissioning process, we have been doing deep dives with specific subsectors, whether it be youth services, LGBTI services, First Nation services and services working particularly with culturally and linguistically diverse communities. This is a process that we are still working through. We have collected lots of great ideas and we will be working to bring that all together in order to enter into new service agreements in 2023 which will provide stability and really look at plugging the gaps, particularly for vulnerable groups in the community.
MR PARTON: Minister, how much pressure is put on those homelessness numbers by the growing public housing waiting list that you referred to in an earlier answer?
MS VASSAROTTI: Housing affordability across the spectrum is presenting a risk for all of our community partners and particularly our homelessness services. That is why we have provided a sustained, enhanced commitment to homelessness services. With the announcements that have been foreshadowed as part of this budget, which will be announced today, we are up to $12 million in the last 18 months in terms of providing more flexible funds, more emergency accommodation and embedding community mental health services to help people address the issues of rough sleepers.
This has been a process where we have worked really closely with our community partners and our specialist homelessness services, and we have been able to enhance the capacity of these services that are dealing with the increased pressure because of housing affordability, the impacts of the pandemic and the increased complexity in people’s lives.
MS CASTLEY: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is to the Health minister. On July 28, you were quoted in an ABC article, after the death of a five-year-old girl at the Canberra Hospital saying:
… our thoughts are with the family at this really, really difficult time.
I also want to assure people that the staff that were involved in this are receiving support and the hospital is very conscious of ensuring that those staff receive the debriefing and support that they require.
Minister, the family, who are watching now, want to understand why they were not contacted by anyone from Canberra Health Services until yesterday.
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Thank you very much Madam Speaker and I thank Ms Castley for the question. I start by again expressing our deep condolences to the family. This is a very, very tragic circumstance and I do not think any of us here can imagine what this family is going through at this time. So, to them, if they are watching, I am so deeply sorry for the experience that they have had and the loss they are feeling right now. It is my understanding that the family were receiving some support, which had been organised by Canberra Health Services. I recognise it may not have been what they were experiencing. Therefore, when I heard the family’s comments through the media that they did not feel that they had been appropriately supported and that they did not feel that they had been contacted by Canberra Health