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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 12 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3677..

MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

Quamby gets a lot of bad press but, given the environmental constraints, I certainly believe that the staff and management of the facility, and the executive within the department, take their job as guardians of these children, essentially while they are in the care of Quamby, very seriously and are always guided by the best interests of the children principle. They do everything they can to make sure that children and young people are provided with a safe environment, and from time to time that will mean that children and young people need to spend time in an isolated area which is safe for them and for other young people at Quamby.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Transitional housing

Ministerial statement

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for the Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Housing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (11.59): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement concerning transitional housing.

Leave granted.

MR HARGREAVES: I thank members. Today I am very pleased to present a government initiative that responds to the need for an increased range of powers and options for people who are experiencing homelessness in the ACT. As Minister for Housing, I am proud to be able to play my part in bringing forward public housing stock in an innovative, best-practice approach to breaking the cycle of homelessness. It is, of course, an issue dear to my own heart from my time as Minister for Housing and Community Services and I am glad that I can continue that whole-of-government approach to breaking the cycle of homelessness by working with my colleague the Deputy Chief Minister and her homelessness services.

The transitional housing program that we have developed will contribute 20 additional Housing ACT properties to homelessness service provision in the ACT, which is equivalent to an additional $6 million of capital funding. The program began on 1 October 2006 with four properties and will grow to utilise 20 or more properties. Anglicare Canberra and Goulburn is coordinating the use of these properties.

The recent changes to the public rental housing assistance program, PRHAP, have established a public housing system which targets and responds to those most in need. The highest need categories are those experiencing homelessness, escaping domestic violence, people with mental illness, people with a disability, people from ATSI background and children at risk. We aim to house within three months the 150 families and individuals that are in the most need.

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