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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 4357..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

constantly looking for innovative ways and ideas that can improve our service to all of Canberra's residents, including the elderly.

The government is providing land for aged persons accommodation. Under the "Building for our Ageing Community" strategy, the government is currently offering generous concessions on the market value of land to not-for-profit providers of aged care accommodation which, in the nine months since the commencement of the "Building for our Ageing Community" strategy, has totalled approximately $3.7 million. These incentives provide a crucial capacity for many community sector agencies in developing aged care accommodation options.

Even since the release of the strategy, lease offers have been made to Southern Cross Care, Mirinjani at Weston and the Little Company of Mary at Bruce. In total these projects will provide over 200 beds and 89 independent living units. In addition, planning and consultation for additional sites in Greenway, Nicholls and Gordon is well under way. The government intends for these sites, subject to territory plan variation and Commonwealth bed allocations, to be available in 2005-06. However, the Commonwealth has indicated that there will be a significant shortfall of beds allocated compared to the land that will actually become available.

We will be lobbying the Commonwealth government to increase the number of bed allocations for the ACT to meet demands and to take advantage of the sites that will be ready to be developed for older persons accommodation. Our government has also given approval for the direct grant of sites in Hughes and Monash, subject to the final planning requirements. The proponents for these two sites will be in a position to apply to the Commonwealth for bed allocations in the current aged care assessment round.

In relation to the Belconnen site at block 6 of section 87, as a result of extensive negotiations with the government, the Commonwealth has allocated 100 beds for the site. The sale process has already commenced in parallel with the Commonwealth bed allocation. The successful tenderer will be able to proceed at a very early point with the development application process and construction. Therefore, we expect 100 beds and approximately 150 independent living units to be operational in approximately two years. This is a pilot scheme never before tried in Australia and will result in an innovative development on an attractive site for which the people of the ACT will be justifiably proud.

Other sites in the suburbs of Kaleen, Lyneham, Chapman and Weston are currently being assessed to determine their suitability to meet the accommodation needs of older people. These measures indicate that we are well advanced in developing a land bank of pre-planned aged persons accommodation sites. The government's land bank, combined with the expansion and redevelopment plans of service providers, will ensure that whatever number of beds is allocated land is available to house them. In this respect, the Commonwealth has announced that the provisional allocation of beds for the next three years will be 210, 85 and 75; hence, the aged persons accommodation sites that I have listed will be able to take far more than the available bed allocations announced by the Commonwealth.

Individual service providers have also told the government that they will be expanding and refurbishing their existing facilities and will be seeking extra beds. Releasing the


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