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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 26 August 2004) . . Page.. 4356 ..

from players outside the ACT. ActewAGL is expected to have the operational capacity to respond to emergencies; therefore, any reduction in ActewAGL’s response capacity has unacceptable implications for the standards of service we are prepared and have come to expect.

Having due regard to the recommendations in the ICRC’s report and the advice provided by my own department, I have reached the conclusion that the present arrangements are in the community’s best interests. In making this decision, I expect the ICRC to review its regulatory methodology to be sure that appropriate oversight and transparency is applied to electricity distribution network pricing as it relates to greenfields network infrastructure developments.

Accommodation for the ageing

Ministerial statement

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs): I seek leave to make a ministerial statement concerning accommodation for the ageing.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: In December last year I released “Building for our Ageing Community” which outlined this government’s strategy for meeting the accommodation needs of our older citizens. Today I have pleasure in informing the Assembly about the significant progress that has been made since the strategy was introduced.

We all know that the provision of accommodation for our aged people is a complex issue. It is complex because it involves decisions by individuals about their own accommodation and care at an important time of their lives; it is complex because it requires the coordination of many aspects of government activity both at the Commonwealth level and at the territory level; and it is complex because of the number of people involved. The proportion of our population that is elderly is increasing and will keep doing so.

The government does appreciate the active interests of the Assembly’s Standing Committee on Planning and Environment and its report “Long-term Planning for the Provision of Land for Aged Care Facilities in the ACT” which was tabled on Tuesday. It is pleasing to note that the recommendations in the committee’s report have, by and large, endorsed the proactive approaches already taken by the government to accelerate land preparation and supply, as well as provide a dedicated case management service to proponents and engage directly with the Commonwealth in proposals for system reform and innovation. Providing an appropriate range of accommodation for an ageing population is, after all, a national challenge which is very much dependent on Commonwealth policies. The government will respond to the committee’s recommendations in greater detail in due course.

The government has introduced eight distinct initiatives to improve the way that it responds to the accommodation needs of the aged. In outlining these initiatives in this statement, I do not for a moment suggest that these are the only ways in which our aged people can be helped to obtain appropriate accommodation. My government is

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