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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (3 April) . . Page.. 1350..


MR WOOD: Yes. I will see what I can respond to. In fact, when I turn to the brief here, I can tell you that there are over 95 clients on the list. I told you about the additional psychologist who has been recruited. Basically, I have said all the things in there. I will get back to you with some more details on that.

As to assurances, it is difficult. We want to get more psychologists. it is an area where, for some reason, we are getting larger numbers coming through with suggestions that they may suffer from autism than previously. It is a struggle to keep up with the assessments which might enable the treatment for which so many parents are desperate. In many circumstances, the assessments say that no, there is not an autism problem. However, in many circumstances, that problem is identified.

Education funding

MR PRATT: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, why did you say in debate yesterday that you could not spend the $7.4 million slush fund, because "it is not in the budget this year", when Mr Corbell has previously told the Assembly that "that money is in the budget so that we fulfil in full our election commitment"and we know that the money is there, because we put it there?

Why have you contradicted Mr Corbell? Is the money there, or has it been swallowed up by your government's financial incompetence? Who has misled the Assembly-you or Mr Corbell?

MR SPEAKER: Order! You can withdraw that.

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, I withdraw "misled". Can I rephrase the question. Minister, who is providing incorrect information to the Assembly-you or Mr Corbell?

MR SPEAKER: I draw your attention to standing order 117 (e):

Questions shall not refer to:

(i) debates that have taken place during that calendar year; or

(ii) proceedings in committee not reported to the Assembly;

Accordingly, I rule the question out of order.

Needle distribution program

MS TUCKER: My question was meant for the Minister for Health, so Mr Stanhope will take it, as I understand it. It is in regard to the needle distribution program. Since surveillance programs were introduced some time ago, conspicuous drug use in Civic has diminished, and intravenous drug users have resorted to purchasing and using substances in other locations.

Can you advise the Assembly if there has been any reduction in clean needle use associated with these developments, if the distribution of needles across Canberra has


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