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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (4 May) . . Page.. 1733..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

with. Mr McKay was appointed to assist all aged care providers in the ACT to advance their provision of additional aged care.

Mrs Cross, within an hour I am meeting with both Lincoln Hawkins and Ross McKay to discuss the very issue of your question. I will put the issues you raised to both Mr Hawkins and Mr McKay, and I will ask for a full explanation of the circumstances of the meeting and will report back to you and involve you in the outcomes of that meeting.

MRS CROSS: I thank the Chief Minister for his answer, and I have a supplementary question. Could you table that report to the Assembly on the future of aged care accommodation in the ACT at the next available opportunity? I was advised it would be provided to me and to those at the meeting when I instigated the question at the February COTA meeting.

MR STANHOPE: I will make those inquiries within the hour in relation to the statement that Mr McKay made and what it was he said or intended. To the extent that an impression was gained at the meeting that a report had been prepared and that it would be made publicly available, I will get to the bottom of that. As I say, that was not the advice that was provided to me. A report was prepared, under the aegis of Mr Corbell and me, on planning for the expansion of aged care facilities, and that document has been released and made publicly available.

Mr Cornwell: It's been a series of blank pages.

MR STANHOPE: Without responding to Mr Cornwell, I might just indicate that the fruits of that report, which has just been damned by Mr Cornwell, are in fact there for all to see. There has been significant progress across Canberra in a number of ways in identifying land for the expansion of aged care facilities and in assisting current aged care providers to expand their capacity to build and provide more beds and services for people requiring aged care in the ACT.

We are making significant progress. We're making it through the planning system, and we're making it in relation to the case management and through the assistance being provided directly by Mr McKay to providers. I am quite pleased with the progress, acknowledging that it is slow and there is real frustration for some providers and within some sectors about the speed with which they are able to progress their plans. Of course, some of those issues are not within the ambit of the government to resolve. Many of them go to financing and resourcing, and it is a bit much to expect that the government can immediately respond to the full range of issues that are an impediment to providers.

I need to establish exactly what report Mr McKay was referring to. I am concerned that-as reported by you, Mrs Cross, and Mr Cornwell-there were people who attended that meeting who came away with an impression, which has not been fulfilled. I certainly do not want that to persist. I am happy to find out exactly what was said and what was intended. I am happy to respond to the extent that I can and I am happy to talk to people and to you again.


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