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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 6 June 2006) . . Page.. 1760 ..

happy about it, we cannot have 75 per cent of the users of those car parks exempt from paying for parking. We have targeted those to whom we can provide exemptions and when it is fair to provide exemptions. Students are not included in that exemptions regime.

Elder abuse

MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister for Disability and Community Services. Yesterday, the Minister for Planning announced that a site in Nicholls had been released for aged care facilities. In light of this, could you update the Assembly on the other initiatives the government is undertaking for older members of the community?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for the question. I have recently launched the elder abuse awareness campaign. It is a sad reality that elder abuse is a problem in our community here in the ACT. It is one of those areas that people do not think exist. But elder abuse exists in our community.

This government has undertaken several measures in order to raise awareness and ensure that older members of our community have access to information and referral services and services that can support them if they are experiencing elder abuse. The awareness campaign is aimed at older people, their families and friends and service providers for older people, through the provision of information fact sheets and postcards sent to service providers, displays at health centres, community centres and government shopfronts. Advertisements have also been running in community newspapers and on television.

The elder abuse prevention information and referral phone line has been in operation for some time. It has been promoted through this advertising. It runs from Monday to Friday during business hours, including public holidays and the Christmas period. As part of the awareness campaign, the line has been ramped up, with several new features increasing its effectiveness for older Canberrans. The calls to date are demonstrating the assistance this line is providing, with a number of people contacting the phone line and making complaints about residential services and family members and making general information requests. The Public Advocate’s Office receives referrals from the phone line. To date, the majority of referrals have been given to the Community and Health Services Complaints Commissioner.

The ACT government is committed to reducing the incidence of elder abuse. The campaign around elder abuse supports this commitment.

It being 3.00 pm, questions were interrupted pursuant to the order of the Assembly.

Appropriation Bill 2006-2007

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts) (3.00): I present the Appropriation Bill 2006-2007 and the following papers:

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