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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 4358..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Belconnen, Greenway, Nicholls, Gordon, Hughes and Monash blocks in combination with the needs of service providers on their own land will result in sufficient land to accommodate all allocated beds for at least the next five or six years.

Our land bank will cater not only for aged care accommodation in the form of nursing homes and hostels but also for independent living units and supportive housing models. This reflects my government's awareness that a variety of appropriate accommodation must be provided. We are simplifying the planning process to improve certainty and time frames for approval. This will provide real benefits for those who are delivering aged care accommodation. The government recognises that providing certainty for service providers in regard to the planning and development system will enable proponents to undertake more effective business planning. This will improve the viability of some providers and encourage others to enter into the market for the development of aged persons accommodation.

The provision of aged care accommodation in the territory is being driven from the Chief Minister's Department with strong and active input from ACT Health, Treasury, the ACT Planning and Land Authority, the Land Development Agency, the Department of Urban Services and the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services. An interdepartmental committee of senior executives from these agencies was established last year to develop and drive the implementation of this whole-of-government strategy.

We are improving our knowledge of aged care accommodation demand, particularly through the Land Development Agency, which has been collecting commercial data to strengthen our understanding of market demand. We need to fully understand the demand for high and low-care beds, community aged care and extended aged care at home packages, as well as assisted living and other forms of ageing in-place accommodation.

My government has allocated ongoing funding for a residential aged care nurse to provide better links between hospitals and nursing homes and therefore make it easier for people to find nursing home places. Importantly, the government has also introduced a case management service for aged care projects, a first in the territory to draw together government and non-government inputs. The case manager, based in the Chief Minister's Department, acts as a single point of contact for developers and service providers and thereby provides a responsive service for viable aged care proposals. The case manager has been able to assist applicants with the land release and development application processes and has established valuable relationships between service providers, the construction industry and government, a service that has been widely recognised by the industry, with improved cooperation of the Commonwealth government, which is a key player in the provision of aged accommodation.

In "Building for our Ageing Community", the government undertook to develop a more proactive relationship with the Commonwealth government concerning their aged care accommodation policies. The recent Commonwealth budget included two major policy changes that were the result of work between the Commonwealth and the states and territories, including the ACT, to identify the gaps in previous Commonwealth policy. The first major policy change at the Commonwealth level is to increase the ratio of residential aged care places allocated from 100 per 1,000 people over 70 to 108 per 1,000 people over 70. The second major policy change was to introduce a national program of


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