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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 3 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 680..

MRS BURKE (continuing):

to withdraw transport to group homes for people with a disability in the ACT, you indicated that "there has been no decision to withdraw transport to group homes for people with a disability in the ACT".

Knowing that there indeed had been a reshuffling of transport options between group homes and respite centres at that time, why did you give that answer, given that a number of parents expressed to me at that time-and continue to do so-that there is, for example, a major problem, with no transport to the Fisher B respite house operated by Disability ACT and there has not been for some months now?

MR HARGREAVES: Mrs Burke cherry picks bits and pieces out of reviews, evaluations and procedures to see how much damage she can do to the people working in the field. It is reasonable that the subject matter being questioned here is the disability car fleet; the car fleet that is available to Disability ACT.

It is worthwhile answering Mrs Burke's question by putting on the record what has happened. Recent increases in leases, fuel prices and vehicle running costs have had a significant impact on the costs of running the disability fleet. In response, Disability ACT is evaluating the use of its vehicle fleet. Evaluation is being undertaken to ensure a more effective utilisation of the fleet to enable a continued high level of client services provided by Disability ACT.

The objectives of the evaluation are to ensure that fleet cars are used appropriately; to ensure that petrol and other materials are accounted for; to ensure that the best interests of clients are being served by the use of the fleet-to underscore it, I will say it again, for Mrs Burke's benefit: to ensure that the best interests of clients are being served by the use of the fleet-and to reduce duplication and excessive use of vehicles where it is not directly related to the needs of Disability ACT clients.

The scope of the evaluation includes the availability of vehicles within the administrative pool to office-based staff; the accountability of fuel purchases; individual client needs and travel skills in every household; the date activities are undertaken by each resident and the location of those activities; the potential to car pool activities that are attended by several clients-for example, sharing places and opportunities for car pooling to activities such as grocery shopping where public transport is not already appropriately used; and the geographic location of those households that do not need a vehicle on site 24 hours a day.

Decisions that may impact on vehicles associated with group homes have not yet been finalised. Disability ACT sent letters to all client families and guardians in late December 2005 about the issues being considered by the evaluation. The letter also stated that when decisions are made that may impact on a client or their home there will be further direct consultation with residents and their families. Disability ACT has reinforced to families and staff that this evaluation will have no impact on a client's ability to attend activities.

In some instances, there may be modal changes: clients may be travelling to an activity with other clients rather than in separate cars. In some cases where it is deemed appropriate, staff and clients may use public transport. It should be noted that ensuring clients who have the capacity to use public transport are skilled and practised in their

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